·28 May 2023
·28 May 2023
Throughout a campaign peppered with plenty of highs, Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has continually balanced any praise with a dollop of caution.
Following a four-game winning sequence which culminated with a 3-1 victory over pace-setters Arsenal in September, Ten Hag quickly quashed the runaway aspirations of "dreaming fans" and preached: "There is a lot of room for improvement."
Nine months later, on the eve of the Premier League's conclusion, Ten Hag was all too keen to qualify the "huge progress" United have made by using the same line: "There is still a lot of room for improvement."
United's mammoth 2022/23 season was not wrapped up against Fulham at Old Trafford on Sunday. There isn't much time to take the strides Ten Hag is still searching for ahead of United's final fixture this term but a merciful break awaits on the horizon.
Here's what lies in store for United and their perfectionist manager.
United still have the small matter of the FA Cup final to contest before they can wrap up the 2022/23 campaign. United's 62nd and last match of the season is against city rivals and freshly crowned Premier League champions Manchester City on Saturday 3 June.
On top of the bragging rights reserved for the winner of the first-ever Manchester derby in an FA Cup final, a wider sense of history hangs over the Wembley showpiece.
With a Champions League final against Inter looming the following weekend, City are aiming to become the second English side to claim the European treble, replicating United's feat from 1999.
Before jetting off to the US, United face Lyon at Edinburgh's Murrayfield in mid-July. Without a gruelling international competition robbing Ten Hag of the majority of his players, United can wind up for their second year under the Dutch boss after a relaxing off-season.
United's first posting in a whistle-stop tour of America pits them against Premier League runners-up Arsenal in the MetLife Stadium, home to the NFL's New York-based franchises.
Wrexham will be waiting for United on the other side of the continent just three days later. The National League champions are famously owned by the Hollywood duo of Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney and go up against United in California on 25 July.
European giants Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund await in a compact overseas schedule that could include a fourth fixture.
As it stands, United will rack up more than 5,500 miles in ten days just travelling between the four stadiums scattered across the US.
The 32nd iteration of the Premier League is scheduled to kick off on Saturday 12 August 2023 - a mere 48 days after the conclusion of the 2022/23 campaign.
United will find out their exact fixture list - at least the first draft before the countless alterations which take place in the heat of the season - on the morning of Thursday 15 June, at 9am specifically.
Ten Hag's maiden Premier League match was a humbling 2-1 loss at home to Brighton. Incidentally, the Dutchman suffered defeat to Brentford in his next fixture, becoming the first United manager to lose their first two games since John Chapman in 1921.
Ten Hag declared Manchester United "belongs in the Champions League" after sealing qualification for Europe's premier competition against Chelsea in May.
United's first fixture back in the big time will take place across the midweek of 19-20 September 2023 in the first round of group stage matches. Mason Greenwood scored the opening goal in United's most recent Champions League group game.
The Champions League's opening matchday is expected to take place immediately after the first international break of the new season.
For the first time since 1994, Manchester United battled their way to the final of both of England's cup competitions during the 2022/23 campaign. United's quest to reach the showpieces of both competitions once again will begin in the third round of each cup.
Official dates for these advanced stages have not yet been finalised. The Carabao Cup first round kicks off on the week of 7 August 2023 but the third round usually gets going around November.
The FA Cup third round does not traditionally begin until the new year. Although, the Premier League has scheduled a midseason hiatus between 13 and 20 January - a step Ten Hag has implored the division to take in the past.
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