Manchester Makeover- Jason Wilcox Ordered Ten Hag to Master Possession Play

When Manchester United takes on Sheffield United in the Premier League on Wednesday, the focus will not only be on securing a win but a much more significant forced change that the team’s new technical director, Jason Wilcox, has made and mandated to the team.

Ever since the Red Devils blew a three-goal lead against Coventry City in the FA Cup semi-finals, calls for a change have been getting stiffer. Wilcox, after taking over as the technical director after leaving his position with Manchester City’s academy, has not approved of the current approach that Erik ten Hag has implemented with Manchester United.

Although Ten Hag is better known for his possession tactics while at Ajax, this turned around to a more transition game side when he managed the League of Ireland, which has not been working to United’s benefit to date. According to Alan Nixon of The Sun, Wilcox has ordered Ten Hag to get back to a possession-focused game, and that is starting from Wednesday’s game at Sheffield United, which is last in the league.

This order comes in the backdrop of Manchester United’s inconsistent campaign that saw them knocked out of the UCL and performing poorly in the domestic competition. The Manchester side finds themselves in seventh place, which matches their all-time low finish in the Premier League era.

The forced tactics change also shows a change in the control metaphor as Wilcox and INEOS’s Sir Jim Ratcliffe are asserting themselves and power inside the club’s operation. It is also a test for Ten Hag, who will be on a trial basis for the remaining few matches of the league, and should he fail to follow the directive and produce the result, his job will be on the line.

Furthermore, this change should see a harmonized approach across every age set that will see the team have a United way of play. Once the Old Trafford match starts, all eyes will be on United’s team to see if they can bag the much-needed three points and also prove that Wilcox is in the right by playing the football they want. This is not only a tactic change, but the repeals also set a course that the club will look out for in the coming seasons.

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