Gary Neville highlights four players that have transformed Man Utd

ten Hag coy on if Ronaldo will keep Man Utd starting spot

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Manchester United’s 1-0 win over West Ham on Sunday cemented their fifth-placed spot in the Premier League and firmly put Erik ten Hag’s side in contention for a Champions League spot. After a disappointing opening two games to the season, the Red Devils under the Dutchman have looked much-improved and he has received plaudits for the job he has done since taking over in the summer.

United are unbeaten since the 6-3 defeat to rivals Manchester City at the beginning of October, and club icon Gary Neville has been very impressed with how Ten Hag’s side have played in possession. The ex-United man highlighted four players that he believes have transformed the team this season, and how they are different from previous years.

“Erik ten Hag is doing a very good job,” Neville told Sky Sports. “In many ways, the commitment, [Lisandro] Martinez keeping the back four together, there has been problems with players getting injured but the big difference for me I think Manchester United for the first time in many, many years can play through the midfield.

“Casemiro, [Christian] Eriksen, [Bruno] Fernandes, we’ve seen for five, six years from Jose Mourinho – I think [Louis] Van Gaal had them playing through midfield with [Ander] Herrera, who I thought was a bit clumsy. Now in midfield, they look better.”

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All four started in the win over West Ham, and Eriksen got the assist for the sole goal of the game as his floated cross to the back post was met by Marcus Rashford, who rose above Thilo Kehrer to power a header past the goalkeeper. One of Neville’s game-changers, Casemiro, joined the club in the summer from Real Madrid, and Neville believes the trio in United’s midfield is similar to what the Brazilian is used to having played alongside Toni Kroos and Luka Modric for several years.

“It’s interesting, if you think ten years ago you’d put Eriksen, Fernandes, Casemiro in midfield, none of them are quick, box-to-box,” Neville added. “But if you think about that midfield he played in Madrid with Kroos and Modric, they weren’t quick, you think of Eriksen and Fernandes – Kroos and Modric are far better players. But there’s a similarity to what we’re seeing in terms of the style.

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“I’m not saying they’re as good as them three because they ruled Europe for many many years, played in the big games and controlled them.

“But there is something similar to what we’re seeing with Casemiro and Real Madrid, with that silkiness, smoothness that gives Man United a better platform.

“[Manchester] City away, they struggled when they played Eriksen and Fernandes together, I know Casemiro didn’t play but [when] City come here [to Old Trafford], I think it’s two weeks after the restart. I think it’ll be interesting to see if he goes Casemiro, Fernandes and Eriksen, that will be the real test, that game.”

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