And then there was Ten (Hag). After a long and publicly drawn-out process, Manchester United have announced the appointment of Ajax manager Erik Ten Hag as the next permanent manager.
The new First-Team Manager of Manchester United: Erik ten Hag.#MUFC || #WelcomeErik
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) April 21, 2022
The Ajax man had been a favourite from the beginning. Only Mauricio Pochettino was thought to be rivalling him for the job. However, it is believed that fan support for Ten Hag, combined with his clear style of play, made him the final choice.
A big job ahead
To say that the current season has fallen short of expectation for Man Utd would be an understatement. Red Devils came into the season with title expectations. Moreover, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer looked to have cracked the formula for beating top teams. Armed with marquee signings in Varane, Sancho and Ronaldo, the club looked set for a charge.
However, things fell apart quickly and spectacularly. Ole soon went out the door and the arrival of Ralf Rangnick as the interim coach has laid bare the deficiencies in the squad.
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Ralf Rangnick has himself said that there could be up to ten new players joining the club this summer. Combine this with the fact that a number of players are out of contract, United could look like a wholly different team at the start of next season. Erik Ten Hag will have the big job to assimilate the new blood quickly while trying to implement his philosophy.
A popular choice
The main reason why Erik Ten Hag became the fan-favourite for the job was his attacking philosophy. Moreover, a number of players saw the best seasons of their careers come under him. Manchester United have lost the art of improving players in the last decade. Erik Ten Hag will be expected to right that wrong.
Also read: Why Manchester United’s stadium is called Old Trafford
However, the biggest thing that excites the fans about him is his recruitment philosophy. It has been reported that Erik Ten Hag has demanded a lot of autonomy to shape the squad in his image.
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It is a widely held belief that the current United squad has a lot of underachievers. A squad overhaul overseen by the clear playing style of Ten Hag, accompanied by Ralf Rangnick’s transfer strategy could bear dividends for the club.
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Despite a lean post-Sir Alex period, Manchester United remain an alluring destination for managers. Erik Ten Hag was thought to be one of the world’s most coveted coaches. The task of reviving a fallen giant is an enticing one. Therefore, if Ten Hag can write a new success at Old Trafford, his name would forever be etched in history books as the one to break the curse. No pressure, Erik!