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Erik ten Hag is still failing to address one big Manchester United problem

The Man United boss has turned the tide after an inauspicious start, but one big problem remains.

Manchester United look as though they are finally beginning to embrace the methods of new manager Erik ten Hag.

It was a sticky start for the Dutchman with successive defeats to Brighton and Brentford not part of the script. Since then, United have evolved an exciting playing style and head into Sunday’s Premier League game at home to West Ham boasting a seven-game unbeaten record in all competitions.

There is one unwanted by-product of this new style under Ten Hag, however, and it concerns the team’s discipline. Granted, United might not have yet seen a player receive a red card so far this term, but they have the joint-worst stats when it comes to picking up bookings.

United, Everton and Nottingham Forest have all collected a whopping 32 yellow cards. United have played the fewest games (11) of those three, meaning they’re picking up an average of almost three cards per match.

Eventually those stats catch up with players, as Scott McTominay can testify. He missed a league game after accruing five cautions and now two more players are on the verge of following suit.

Bruno Fernandes and Diogo Dalot are both on four yellow cards so far. If either of the Portuguese players see yellow against West Ham then they will be forced to sit out the next league game, away at Aston Villa on November 6.

In fact, both players have a fair old amount of time to try and avoid another booking.

Premier League rules dictate that any player who receives five yellow cards before the 19th game of the season will incur a one-match ban. Tomorrow is United’s 12th league match meaning the aforementioned duo as well as Harry Maguire and Lisandro Martinez (both are on three cards) will have to walk the tightrope right up until the Arsenal game on January 21.

Ten Hag will of course be focusing solely on getting results and so far he looks on course to improve on the sorry showing of last term.

But when it comes to discipline United have finished in the bottom five in this particular table (combining the total number of yellow and red cards received) in the last seven seasons. On their current showing, they are set to maintain that unwanted record.


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