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Jamie Carragher compares Erik ten Hag's first two seasons with Mikel Arteta's seasons at Arsenal

Published: Updated: 18:37, 11 May 2024
Both manager have faced similar trajectory but future looks dark for Ten Hag

Erik ten Hag, Manchester United manager, is facing increasing scrutiny following a disappointing season. Despite calls from his defenders for more patience akin to what was extended to Mikel Arteta at Arsenal, football analyst Jamie Carragher has rejected these comparisons. He argues that there is a significant difference between the two managers' first two seasons.

Ten Hag's initial season with Man United showed promise as they secured a third-place finish. However, his second year in charge has been far from encouraging. The Red Devils have slipped eight places down the table, marking an end to what can only be described as a dismal campaign.

Mikel Arteta showed progress in gameplay despite slow results

In contrast to Ten Hag's trajectory at Man United, Mikel Arteta's tenure at Arsenal paints a different picture. Despite finishing eighth in both of his first campaigns with the Gunners, patience with him eventually paid off. Under his leadership, Arsenal climbed up to second place last season and are still contenders for lifting the title this time around.

Liverpool legend, Jamie Carragher, said:

'Arteta’s Arsenal performance levels never sank as consistently low as those of Ten Hag’s Manchester United. None of Arteta’s most disappointing losses were remotely comparable to the 4-0 defeat by Crystal Palace on Monday night.

'Worryingly for Ten Hag, the biggest difference is he is not the owner’s appointment. The Arsenal board staked their reputation on Arteta coming good. Logic suggests Ratcliffe will be more inclined to stand or fall based on his managerial pick.

'That meant amid the setbacks there was always a sense of an ultimate destination. When Arsenal enjoyed good results and performances, you could see the fruits of the work on the training ground. Arsenal took steps back to move forward. Manchester United, by contrast, made a move forward last year, but have taken several steps back since.

'Even when United have enjoyed good results under Ten Hag, I am genuinely struggling to recall any exceptionally good performances with a perceptively proactive system of play.'

Carragher highlighted difference between progress and results

Writing in his column for The Telegraph, Carragher highlighted key differences between Ten Hag and Arteta during their respective first two seasons in charge.

Carragher believes that despite inconsistent results during Arteta’s early days at Arsenal there were always signs of progress - something he feels is lacking under Ten Hag’s management at Man United.

Firstly, the performance of both managers was contrasted. While both had challenging starts with their respective clubs, Arteta managed steady improvement over time leading to better rankings for Arsenal in Premier League table; in contrast, Ten Hag seems stuck after an initially promising start.

Secondly, Carragher noted a difference in progress - there were clear indications of progress under Artera even during the inconsistent results which is not evident in Ten Hag's management at Man United. Lastly, he highlighted the issue of patience: Arteta was given time to prove his worth and he delivered by improving Arsenal's standing. The question remains whether Ten Hag will be afforded the same patience and if he can turn things around for Man United.

While comparisons between Erik ten Hag and Mikel Arteta are inevitable given their similar career trajectories, Jamie Carragher insists that there is a 'big difference' between them. As the pressure mounts on Ten Hag, only time will tell if he can emulate Arteta's success at Arsenal or if a change in leadership is needed at Manchester United.

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