New Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag already has a lot of work to do to turn the club’s situation around, but a startling stat reveals just how difficult it’s going to be.
Neighbors Manchester City won their fourth Premier League title in five years at the weekend as the gap between the two Manchester clubs continued to widen.
A 1-0 defeat at Crystal Palace saw United finish the campaign with just 58 points – their lowest tally in Premier League history.
Meanwhile, Pep Guardiola’s men finished with 93 points, a whopping 35 ahead of the 13-time Premier League winners.
In fact, City have been so superior to their rivals this season that they would have finished with more Premier League points than United even if they had lost their last 13 matches!
The stat is damning for United who have fallen well below club standards this season.
They had no joy against their rowdy neighbors in 2021/22, losing 2-0 at Old Trafford in November before being beaten 4-1 in the Etihad Stadium game in March.
Ten Hag was present for Man United’s lackluster display at Selhurst Park, their 12th defeat of the league season.
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The Dutchman will need love at first sight if he wants to make short-term progress at the club.
In his first press conference, the Dutchman paid tribute to Guardiola and Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp and revealed he was looking forward to facing them while preparing for a changing of the guard.
“Right now, I look up to them both,” Ten Hag said.
“They play really fantastic football, at Liverpool and at Man City. But you always see that an era can end and I can’t wait to fight with them.
“And I’m sure every other Premier League club wants to do that.”
However, the 52-year-old is optimistic about the future.
Asked if City and Liverpool’s dominance in England could come to an end, he replied: “I think, yes.”