A change of manager at Manchester United should mean a change of tactics.

Here is a look at what Erik ten Hag can alter now that his appointment has been confirmed…

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United finally master 4-3-3

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer could not shake United’s reliance on 4-2-3-1, with fleeting attempts to switch to 4-3-3 quickly abandoned because they his side too open.

Ralf Rangnick got to a point where he seemed happy with 4-3-3, but has fallen back on a double pivot at times and has increasingly leant towards five-man defences or false nines in certain games.

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Ten Hag prefers a 4-3-3 formation. That is the formation Manchester City, Liverpool and many of Europe’s other top clubs use.

The Dutchman has flirted with other systems but he has to be the man to get United secure enough with just one anchorman by the end of his reign.

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Pressing from the front

Rangnick was supposed to get United pressing but that was doomed almost from the off. Interim managers are not usually brought in to introduce a philosophy.

There isn’t the time and they don’t have the authority with the players, who know they will outlast him.

Cristiano Ronaldo has shown at times this season he can work hard off the ball, and ten Hag has to get United’s other players working in tandem to get pressure on opponents higher up the pitch.

That is what Ajax do, and the Dutch outfit even did it against elite opponents when ten Hag took them to the Champions League final in 2019.

At the moment, United are too passive and not physical enough. That has to change under ten Hag.

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Short passing and playing out of trouble

United often played themselves into trouble passing it around the back under Solskjaer and eventually ended up panicking and playing it longer.

Ten Hag will be dedicated to his total football principles and United’s players need to get used to playing their way out of trouble.

What United players and fans really need to see are the clear signs of a philosophy being implemented; of a clear style of play every time the team steps out onto the pitch.

For too long now, it has been a muddle, with United trying to do just enough to win games and seldom being convincing when they do.

Now, wins need to be secured with a clear idea, which is being worked on and improved at all times. Ten Hag is a notoriously strict operator, who needs time and the buy-in of his players to get this team in his image.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.