Ten Hag must now ruthlessly ditch Man United “monster” who lost 8 duels vs Wolves

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Erik ten Hag may draw a lot of benefits from Manchester United’s previous two games.

Rasmus Hojlund is no longer with the Red Devils, but despite their four goals in the two games, their failure to handle transitions will worry the manager.

Since United’s midfield hasn’t been able to thwart counterattacks at the source like most teams have, adjustments may be made for their Sunday matchup against West Ham.

Casemiro’s previous two appearances

In the FA Cup last weekend, Casemiro made his FA Cup comeback to start against Newport County, and the Red Devils advanced with a 4-2 win. According to football journalist Muhammad Butt, the Brazilian is a “monster” on the pitch, but he was weak in duels, unable to keep up with the intensity of the game, and incredibly wasteful with the ball.

Wolves vs. Newport at Casemiro




Cards in yellow






Dribbled over



Lost of possession



Pass completion percentage

64 percent


Winning Duels

12 (5)

14 (6)

Statistics sourced from Sofascore

As you can see, aside from his improved ball retention, his performance against Wolves wasn’t all that better.

However, from an out-of-possession standpoint, the Wanderers’ attackers were playing with him; they could easily dribble by him with a single drop of the shoulder. In addition, the 31-year-old dropped eight of his 14 duels, making it impossible for United to hold onto and recover the ball.

To be fair to Casemiro, though, his booking was initially for a foolish challenge, so the early yellow card didn’t help in those specific situations.

Scott McTominay might have an impact on the matchup with West Ham.

It appears that Scott McTominay’s future at Manchester United will be as a super sub or as a player who is brought into the starting XI for a specific purpose, which will probably depend more on the opposition than on Ten Hag’s strategy.

Manchester United’s Scott McTominay
The Scotland player has participated in 19 league games this season, but he has only started 12. This is because Kobbie Mainoo’s rise has pushed him farther down the ladder. The number 39, though, might start this weekend as the 18-year-old’s midfield partner instead of Casemiro.

Some of McTominay’s most important stats from the Premier League this season are displayed in the table below, along with a comparison to his positional contemporaries.

The 2023–24 PL Stats for McTominay

Statistics (per 90)


PL Percentile



Top 2%

Total shots fired


Top 6%

Touches using an ATTT pen


Top 20%



upper 29%

Third-quarter tackles


top 17%

Statistics through FBref

Based on his tackle statistics, McTominay is a player who is willing to put in the grunt work for his team, whether it be making unselfish runs off the ball to clear space for others or fighting for the ball in the middle of the field.

The 27-year-old was also lauded by former boss Ole Gunnar Solsjkaer for being a “physical monster,” which will be crucial against the incredibly strong and aggressive West Ham midfield.

The Norwegian forward also hinted at McTominay’s potential to influence games in the closing minutes, and he has demonstrated that skill this season by leading United in league scoring with six goals. With his boxing threat ranking among the league’s top, as demonstrated by the table above, this would aid Ten Hag’s squad in defeating the resolute Hammers.

Is McTominay Casemiro’s long-term replacement the best option? No, but he’s currently United’s best option.

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