Comparing Ten Hag’s Premier League record after 50 games to Ferguson, Klopp, Guardiola & Arteta
Erik ten Hag has been under pressure following Manchester United’s slow start to the 2023-24 campaign – but his record is much more favourable if you take a step back and look at the bigger picture.
The Dutch tactician enjoyed an excellent first season in charge of the Red Devils, ending a six-year trophy drought by leading them to the League Cup. They also reached the FA Cup final and got back into the top four after a Premier League campaign that was much-improved on the year before.
Results and performances have left a lot to be desired in 2023-24 so far – particularly in the cup competitions – but Ten Hag has alleviated the pressure somewhat by leading to United to hard-fought 1-0 Premier League wins over Fulham and Luton, keeping them well within reach of the top four.
“It is a good day. We needed the win and we got it but we could make life more easy by scoring early on and getting a second. We created the chances but we didn’t score apart from one. I am happy with that and I am happy with the clean sheet,” Ten Hag responded following United’s home win over Luton.
“We had many chances before half time and you should net one of them. After half time, get the second and then the game is gone. Now you keep them alive and they can get an equaliser from balls dropping in the wrong place.
“It would be better for composure, for the calmness, for the manager, the coaches and the team if we score early on, but if you don’t you have to keep going. I have to compliment the team that they kept going, kept organised and didn’t give anything away.”
He’s now taken charge of 50 Premier League games – and his record compares very favourably to the starts made by some of the most highly-regarded coaches around.
Incredibly, Manchester United have won as many (30) of Ten Hag’s first 50 Premier League games as they did during the legendary reign of Sir Alex Ferguson – when they won the inaugural Premier League season (1992-93) and retained it the following year.
That’s on something of a technicality, admittedly, because Ferguson had already taken charge of over 200 league matches and had yet to deliver the title when the English top flight was rebranded to the Premier League in 1992.
We’ve also taken a look at how Ten Hag’s start at Old Trafford compares to three of his major rivals, who are widely regarded as the best coaches in England at present – Pep Guardiola at Manchester City, Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool and Mikel Arteta at Arsenal.
Guardiola took considerably more points in his first 50 matches, but that was largely thanks to the stark difference in the start that City made in the second season – 2017-18 – whereby they won 11 of their opening 12 matches en route to a record 100 points. Like Ten Hag, Guardiola finished 3rd in his first season – and City only picked up three more points than United did in 2022-23.
Ten Hag has a marginally better record than Klopp after his first 50 Premier League matches, albeit quite the same eye-catching attacking output, and a considerably better record than Arteta.
Here’s how Ten Hag’s record after 50 Premier League games compares to Ferguson, Klopp, Guardiola and Arteta.
Erik ten Hag
Goals Scored: 71
Goals Conceded: 59
Clean Sheets: 21
🚨🚨Man Utd are the most in-form team in the Premier League!
They've picked up more points over the last five games than any other team (12)
Not bad for manager who should be sacked apparently.. pic.twitter.com/OwQ1bBVO1I
— Frank 🧠🇳🇱 (@TenHagEra) November 11, 2023
Sir Alex Ferguson
Goals Scored: 82
Goals Conceded: 35
Clean Sheets: 23
Goals Scored: 103
Goals Conceded: 63
Clean Sheets: 14
Goals Scored: 119
Goals Conceded: 46
Clean Sheets: 19
Goals Scored: 72
Goals Conceded: 56
Clean Sheets: 15