Man Utd’s shocking away form shows Erik ten Hag has plenty of work to do

The 2022/23 season was extremely positive for Manchester United on the whole, lifting the Carabao Cup to end a near six-year wait for a competitive trophy and qualifying for the Champions League thanks to a third-place Premier League finish.

Erik ten Hag imprinted his style of football at Old Trafford, rooted out some of the deadwood in the club’s squad, and restored a bit of a feel-good factor around a club who had been spiralling downhill first under the management of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and then under interim boss Ralf Rangnick.

But there’s no getting away from the fact that United still have issues. They are trying to solve some of those in the transfer market, drafting in Andre Onana and Rasmus Hojlund to fill problem positions, while attempting to ship out more unwanted high earners.

They are also pretty mediocre on the road, truth be told, and have demonstrated a soft underbelly time and time again – Ten Hag oh so aware that United’s mentality and approach to certain games is not up to scratch.

Indeed, from the 75 points picked up last season, a whopping 48 of those came at home. United won 15 times out of 19, drawing three and losing just once, but that hugely impressive record is polar opposite to what was achieved on the road. They won just eight times away from Old Trafford and found goals extremely hard to come by, scoring just 22.

Manchester United’s last 10 away games


Fixture / Result


Arsenal 3-2 Man Utd


Leeds 0-2 Man Utd


Liverpool 7-0 Man Utd


Newcastle 2-0 Man Utd


Nottm Forest 0-2 Man Utd


Spurs 2-2 Man Utd


Brighton 1-0 Man Utd


West Ham 1-0 Man Utd


Bournemouth 0-1 Man Utd


Spurs 2-0 Man Utd

More importantly, they shipped 33 and were comprehensively beaten by Brentford (4-0) and Manchester City (6-3) in the first seven weeks of the season. The ship steadied away from home prior to and in the immediate aftermath of the World Cup, but things took a bit of a turn after a dramatic last-gasp defeat to Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.

Saturday’s 2-0 defeat to Tottenham handed United a loss in their first 2023/24 away day, and extended a horrific run of form that has seen them take just ten points from a possible 30. The 7-0 Liverpool humbling is one of six defeats the Red Devils have endured in their last ten games, and they’ve failed to get on the scoresheet in five of those.

Hojlund’s presence up front should provide United with a genuine goal threat, once he reaches full fitness, but the club really need to find a way to get the best out of Marcus Rashford away from home. Of his 17 goals in the 2022/23 Premier League, just four of them came on the road – a worrying statistic.

Ten Hag must also now find a way to shore up his midfield with trips to Arsenal and Burnley coming up, but will take comfort from the fact that four of the club’s next six Premier League games are at Old Trafford.


On this edition of The Promised Land, part of the 90min podcast network, Scott Saunders and Rob Blanchette discuss the need for Manchester United to make new signings in the aftermath of the 2-0 defeat to Tottenham and the news that Mason Greenwood will be leaving the club by mutual agreement.

If you can’t see this embed, click here to listen to the podcast!

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