Ten Hag's Man United are on the up. So all is great, right? - ESPN
Erik ten Hag has created a problem for himself at Manchester United, but at least it's a good one. It's been a while since the club have been in a position to look forward with optimism and that is down to the man who has ended a six-year trophy drought and secured Champions League football in his first season as manager at Old Trafford.
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But the problem for Ten Hag is that, by overperforming in year one, he must now find a way to build on his initial success and be even better next season. As Saturday's 2-1 defeat against Manchester City in the FA Cup final (stream the replay on ESPN+) showed, however, United have only reached base camp in their ultimate challenge of returning to the top of the game. The summit, occupied by City, still looks a long way off.
The next step for Ten Hag is to make United the best of the rest. His team are still too inconsistent and the squad depth too shallow for United to have any realistic hope of beating City to the Premier League title next season, but for progress to be made next season, they have to catch this season's runners-up Arsenal and fend off the likely challenges of Liverpool, Newcastle United and Chelsea.