Manchester United will see how far they can achieve thanks to Christian Eriksen
The decline in Manchester United‘s performance level prior to the international break may not come as a surprise. Since club football restarted after the World Cup, Erik ten Hag’s team has played a record-breaking 25 games, pushing its players to their physical and mental limitations.
After a month off, by the time United had regained their fitness, they had to acclimatise to the demands of playing two games a week, which taxed their bodies physically and reduced their time for rest in between games.
The fact that despite a decline in performance levels, United’s results have rarely suffered and the team has so frequently found a way to win despite playing poorly is a credit to the work ethic Ten Hag has established.
The fixture list is undoubtedly a contributing reason, but Christian Eriksen’s departure—possibly the player who best embodies Ten Hag’s approach to the game—has been just as significant.
It is simple to overlook how impressive Eriksen has already been for United this year, since the 31-year-old comfortably qualifies for their strongest starting lineup due to the ease with which he plays. The international from Denmark is completely in line with everything Ten Hag expects from his team, and his composure, creativity, and serenity all reflect the core elements of the manager’s chosen strategy.
Ten Had told the media last summer that Eriksen, who can play in offensive midfield or a lesser position, adds creativity to the team. He will significantly benefit the team and have an impact both in and outside of our possession.
Prior to his injury in January, Eriksen had participated in all but one of United’s games this season, missing only the home draw with Newcastle due to illness.
Since joining the team, he has played in four games off the bench and started 27 of them. He has already played the eighth-highest number of minutes for the team this season, surpassing players like Antony, Raphael Varane, and Fred, despite missing two months due to an ankle injury.
As a result, United has been without its best midfield for more than two months. Casemiro’s two suspensions, which have already cost him four games, have made the situation worse.
With the addition of Marcel Sabitzer in January, along with Fred and Scott McTominay, Ten Hag was forced to look for temporary solutions, but none of them were able to fill Eriksen’s distinctive role.
He is not only a fantastic playmaker who aids United in maintaining control of games and creating chances, but he also reads the game so effectively out of possession that he makes them a much stronger side without the ball as well, the United boss stated last summer.
Eriksen tweeted a good injury report this week as he gets closer to playing again for United. He is now practising again on grass after being limited to wearing a protective boot previously.
The former Tottenham midfielder was sidelined until April but now appears to be on track to play again before the season is done.
So, it is unfair to evaluate United’s performance just in the past few weeks, especially in light of how long they have been without such a crucial player.