Man United badly want Erik ten Hag to be the one who lastly succeeds the place many earlier than him failed
Erik ten Hag is the final roll of the cube for Manchester United and their house owners, the Glazer household. It will likely be 10 years subsequent Might because the membership final gained the Premier League title and, if Ten Hag turns into the fifth everlasting supervisor to fail to re-create the glory days loved underneath Sir Alex Ferguson, United and the Glazers will have nowhere left to turn.
United and the Glazers are banking the whole lot on Ten Hag being the proper man and, with their Premier League season set to begin with a house sport in opposition to Brighton & Hove Albion on Sunday, we’re about to find whether or not he’s the true deal or simply one other overhyped appointment who will endure the identical sad destiny as his predecessors.
Sources have instructed ESPN that, having interviewed each Ajax coach Ten Hag and then-Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino as the ultimate two contenders for the job earlier this yr, the sense that Ten Hag had a “buzz about him” and a way of being a person within the ascendancy persuaded the Glazers to nominate the 52-year-old as supervisor.
And having made their choice, the Glazers and chief govt Richard Arnold have given Ten Hag the inexperienced gentle to tear it up and begin once more as United, as soon as once more, try to reboot the Previous Trafford machine.
He has been allowed to pursue his transfer targets forward of gamers larger up the membership’s listing of potential signings — Feyenoord left-back Tyrell Malacia and Ajax defender Lisandro Martinez had been on United’s radar, however not targets till Ten Hag arrived — and the brand new boss rapidly gained his battle to have Ferguson’s former assistant, and later the senior England supervisor, Steve McClaren, added to his backroom workers, regardless of resistance from some senior figures on the membership.
Ten Hag has additionally been backed in his willpower to instill a larger sense of self-discipline inside the enjoying squad, and his outspoken comments about Cristiano Ronaldo’s “unacceptable” choice to go away Previous Trafford earlier than the tip of final Sunday’s pleasant in opposition to Rayo Vallecano level to the Dutchman being given the authority by his bosses to get robust with any participant who fails to fulfill his demanding requirements.
However now we have seen and heard all of this earlier than with United within the post-Ferguson period. Each new supervisor has been offered as a saviour, solely to search out himself burned out by the expertise of managing the membership.
United have tried each attainable route again to the highest since Ferguson retired after successful his thirteenth, and the membership’s twentieth, title on the finish of the 2012-13 season, however a mix of unhealthy decisions, dismal recruitment and an absence of expertise and imaginative and prescient within the boardroom has conspired to go away them within the scenario they’re now in, of desperately hoping that Ten Hag actually is the proper appointment.
David Moyes, Ferguson’s successor, was the continuity candidate — the Scotsman, lower from the identical material as Ferguson, with a popularity for team-building at Everton. However Moyes, dubbed the “Chosen One,” had by no means gained a serious trophy or labored for a membership of United’s stature, and he quickly appeared extra just like the Frozen One earlier than being sacked after lower than a season, with the group going from champions to ending seventh.
Louis van Gaal was employed in 2014, regardless of being out of membership administration since being sacked by Bayern Munich in 2011, and he was billed as the person to deliver authority, management and a successful mentality to the group. However United, pushed by govt vice chairman Ed Woodward, gave Van Gaal free rein within the switch market and a sequence of disastrous signings, together with Bastian Schweinsteiger, Angel Di Maria and Memphis Depay, outlined his time in cost, which ended after two years with gamers and followers complaining about his boring and outdated soccer.
Serial winner Jose Mourinho was imagined to be the catalyst for United’s rebirth in 2016, however after being sacked by Chelsea and Real Madrid in his earlier jobs, he lacked the charisma and aura of his earlier profession and, after spending huge sums on the likes of Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku, plus the free switch flop of Alexis Sanchez, he left in December 2018 with the enjoying squad having misplaced all religion within the onetime “Particular One.”
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, described to ESPN by one United supply because the “anti-venom” to Mourinho, was underqualified as a coach, having beforehand been sacked by Cardiff Metropolis following relegation from the Premier League, however his standing as a United legend ensured prompt respect from the followers and his nice-guy strategy gained the gamers over rapidly.
However Solskjaer was out of his depth, missing the tactical acumen or persona to take United again to the highest, and he was sacked final November after a run of humiliating outcomes that included a 5-0 home defeat in opposition to Liverpool.
The previous Manchester United star hopes to see his former teammate for membership and nation stay at Previous Trafford after the Crimson Devils’ promising summer season.
Moyes, Van Gaal, Mourinho and Solskjaer — all of them had query marks over them after they had been employed, however United went and appointed them anyway.
Ten Hag additionally has inquiries to reply. Is he prepared for the stress that comes with managing the largest membership in probably the most high-profile league on the earth? Can success with Ajax within the Eredivisie persuade his present squad that he has the tactical qualities that may allow the group, and gamers, to enhance sufficiently to problem Manchester City and Liverpool?
The early signs in preseason have been promising. Ten Hag appears to have rapidly imposed his authority and gained over any doubters because of the readability of his calls for on the squad and, crucially, he has the supporters on his facet. However preseason has at all times been an unreliable information to what lies forward. Van Gaal gained all 5 of his first preseason video games, however then misplaced the Premier League opener at dwelling to Swansea and struggled to regain momentum.
Ten Hag cannot afford the same false begin this weekend. Temper and momentum are so vital in a sport that has grow to be dominated by social media response, and a defeat will open the floodgates to prompt criticism and fault-finding. However that is the worth that comes with managing Manchester United. It may be an unforgiving job, however Ferguson confirmed that the rewards could be immense.
Ten Hag simply must be the whole lot that Moyes, Van Gaal, Mourinho and Solskjaer ought to have been, however weren’t — a supervisor able to dominating a dressing room and the boardroom. However most significantly, he wants to indicate he’s a winner.