Erik ten Hag is the last roll of the dice for Manchester United and their owners, the Glazer family. It will be 10 years in May next year since the club last won Premier League and if Ten Hag becomes the fifth permanent coach unable to recreate the glory days enjoyed under Sir Alex Ferguson, United and the Glazers will have nowhere to turn.
United and the Glazers are focusing everything on Ten Hag being the right man and, with their Premier League season set to start with a home game against Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday, we’re about to discover whether he’s the real deal or just another outrageous date who will suffer the same unfortunate fate as his predecessors.
Sources have told ESPN that, having interviewed both Ajax Coach Ten Hag and then-Paris Saint-Germain Boss Mauricio Pochettino was the final two contenders for the position earlier this year, the feeling that Ten Hag had “a buzz about him” and a feeling of being a rising man convinced the Glazers to appoint him. This 52-year-old man works as a manager. .
And they choseThe Glazers and chief executive Richard Arnold gave Ten Hag the green light to break it and start over as United, once again, attempted to restart the Old Trafford machine.
He has been allowed to pursue his transfer targets ahead of players higher on the club’s list of potential signings – Feyenoord left-back Tyrell Malacia and the Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez was on United’s radar, but not a target until Ten Hag arrived – and the new boss quickly won the battle for Ferguson’s former assistant, and then senior manager England’s Steve McClaren added to his behind-the-scenes staff, despite objections from some senior figures at the club.
Ten Hag has also been supported with his determination in instilling a greater sense of discipline in the playing team, and his frank remarks About By Cristiano Ronaldo The “unacceptable” decision to leave Old Trafford before the end of last Sunday’s friendly match Rayo Vallecano pointed out that the Dutchman was empowered by his bosses to take a hard line on any player who did not meet his rigorous standards.
But we’ve seen and heard all this before with United in the post-Ferguson era. Each new manager was introduced as a savior, only to find himself burned by the club management experience.
United have tried every possible route back to the top since Ferguson retired after winning their 13th and 20th title at the end of the 2012-13 season, but a combination of bad choices, bleak and inexperienced recruitment and the vision on the board conspired to leave them in the situation they are in now, desperately hoping that Ten Hag is indeed the right appointment .
David Moyes, Ferguson’s successor, is the next contender – the Scotsman, cut from the same canvas as Ferguson, with a team-building reputation at Everton. But Moyes, dubbed the “Chosen One”, never won a major title or worked for a club of United’s caliber, and he soon looked more like Frozen One before being sacked later. less than a season, with the team going from champions to finish seventh.
Louis van Gaal was hired in 2014, although has ceased to manage the club since being sacked by Bayern Munich in 2011, and he was touted as bringing power, leadership, and a winning spirit to the team. But United, run by executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward, gave Van Gaal free rein in the transfer market and a string of disastrous signings, including Bastian Schweinsteiger, Angel Di Maria and Memphis Depaydefined his reign, which ended after two years with players and fans complaining about his boring and outdated football.
Serial winner Jose Mourinho was tipped to be the catalyst for United’s rebirth in 2016, but after being sacked by Chelsea and Real Madrid in his previous jobs he lacked the charisma and aura of his previous career and after spending large sums of money on things like Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukakuplus free transfer series of Alexis Sanchezhe left in December 2018 with the current squad losing all faith in the once “Special One”.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, described to ESPN by a United source as “an anti-venom” to Mourinho, was disqualified as manager, having previously been sacked by Cardiff City following relegation from the Premier League, but his status as a United legend secured instant respect from the fans and his handsome approach won over the players quickly.
But Solskjaer did not have the depth, tactical acumen or personality to bring United back to the top, and he was sacked last November after a string of humiliating results. including a 5-0 loss at home against Liverpool.
The former Manchester United star hopes to see his former team-mate at club and country stay at Old Trafford after the Reds’ promising summer.
Moyes, Van Gaal, Mourinho and Solskjaer – all had question marks about them when they were hired, but United came and appointed them.
Ten Hag also has questions to answer. Is he ready for the pressure that comes with managing the biggest club in the most senior league in the world? Can success with Ajax in the Eredivisie convince his current squad that he has the tactical qualities that will allow the team, and the players, to improve enough to challenge. City of Manchester and Liverpool?
Early Pre-season signs were promised. Ten Hag seems to have been quick to impose his authority and win over any doubters thanks to the clarity of his claim to the team and, importantly, the fact that he has supporters on his side. . But pre-season has always been an unreliable guide to what lies ahead. Van Gaal won all five of his first five games of the season, but then lost the Premier League opener at home to Swansea and struggled to regain momentum.
Ten Hag cannot get off to a similarly false start this weekend. Mood and motivation are so important in a game dominated by social media reaction, and a loss opens the floodgates to immediate criticism and fault finding. But that is the price to pay when managing Manchester United. It may be an unforgivable undertaking, but Ferguson has shown that the rewards can be enormous.
Ten Hag just needs to be everything Moyes, Van Gaal, Mourinho and Solskjaer should have been, but isn’t – a manager capable of dominating dressing rooms and boardrooms. But most importantly, he needs to present himself as a winner.