Erik ten Hag’s new combative style sees Man Utd hold record for most fouls in Premier League this season

MANCHESTER UNITED have adopted a new aggressive style under Erik ten Hag.

The Red Devils started the season dreadfully with back-to-back defeats against Brighton and Brentford.

Man Utd have shown a lot more aggression in recent weeks


Man Utd have shown a lot more aggression in recent weeksCredit: Reuters
No Premier League player has committed as many fouls as McTominay this season


No Premier League player has committed as many fouls as McTominay this seasonCredit: Getty

But since then they have improved significantly, winning four in a row – their best Premier League run since April 2021.

The victories over Liverpool, Southampton, Leicester and Arsenal have seen Ten Hag implement a more pragmatic method, with his side dropping deeper and using their pace on the counter-attack.

And a statistic from OptaJoe has now revealed that Man Utd are also taking a very combative approach.

The Red Devils have committed 75 fouls this season, more than any other team in England’s top flight.

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And no player in the Prem has been punished more than United midfielder Scott McTominay.

The Scotland international has been penalised on 15 occasions, the joint-most along with Aston Villa’s Boubacar Kamara.

He has also accumulated four yellow cards in just six matches, a style which is keeping former Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro out of the team.

Tyrell Malacia and Diogo Dalot are also in the top 12 Prem players for most fouls.


This aggression is something that was lacking under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Ralf Rangnick last season.

In the 2021/22 campaign, McTominay was the only United star who made the top 20 Prem players for most fouls committed.

The team were also down in 16th for most tackles made.

McTominay has led this resurgence in the team’s aggression, with former Liverpool man Danny Murphy praising the midfielder’s energy and application.

He told talkSPORT: “In the last few games he’s kept Casemiro out of the team.

“I know it’s a winning run so he’s keeping the team the same, but I think he’s been outstanding.

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“His desire to get back into defensive positions and help his defence, the amount of crosses he heads out, the amount of blocks he makes and the amount of runners he tracks, talk about doing a job for the team.

“Talk about putting a shift in. If anyone wants to think negatively about him, go and watch United’s last three games and watch him.”

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