The mammoth task facing Erik ten Hag at Manchester United


Erik ten Hag has formally began as Manchester United supervisor, however some extra pessimistic supporters have already nicknamed the Dutchman “Erik ten Months.” It is not that they doubt his potential as a coach — he is extensively seen as an thrilling appointment after a formidable spell at Ajax — however over practically a decade, they’ve seen a wide range of completely different managers attempt to fail to re-establish United as any form of pressure earlier than being shortly ushered out of the door.

Ten Hag has been given an preliminary three-year contract at Outdated Trafford however, in 2013, David Moyes signed a six-year deal and lasted 10 months earlier than he was sacked. Managing Man United is a precarious job nowadays; the concern for many followers is that it is the membership, quite than the supervisor, that is the issue. Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer — all with differing expertise and kinds — have are available in and been booted out within the 9 years since Sir Alex Ferguson retired.

– Ogden: Inside the broken, dysfunctional world of Man United

Ten Hag is subsequent to have a crack, however judging by the destiny of his predecessors, he wants tangible outcomes shortly. Sources have informed ESPN that the 52-year-old made it clear throughout talks with United that it was unrealistic for them to count on a severe problem within the Premier League in a single day — one thing soccer director John Murtough, technical director Darren Fletcher and CEO Richard Arnold agreed with — however there’s already strain to get again into the Champions League on the first try.

No supervisor post-Ferguson has survived after failing to qualify with a full season in cost. Moyes was sacked in April 2014 after a harmful 2-0 defeat to Everton at Goodison Park made it mathematically unimaginable to complete within the prime 4. Van Gaal completed fourth in his first season, however was sacked after his second regardless of successful the FA Cup, having solely completed fifth within the league.

Mourinho, appointed in 2016, completed sixth in his first season, however made it to the Champions League courtesy of lifting the Europa League trophy. Second in 2018, he stored his job however was sacked the next December along with his staff adrift within the race for the highest 4. Solskjaer completed third after which second in his two full seasons however, like Mourinho, was sacked earlier than Christmas in his third yr, partially, as a result of the prospect of Champions League soccer was drifting away.

Ten Hag won’t be below fast strain to leapfrog Manchester City and Liverpool within the Premier League — though he mentioned in his first official information convention on Monday that he’s here to end their era of dominance — however so far as securing a return to the Champions League, he is already on the clock. It will not be straightforward.

Ten Hag’s to-do listing

These closest to Ten Hag have little doubt he has the talent and work ethic to be successful. Talking at Outdated Trafford on Monday, he appeared confident and made some extent of introducing himself to every reporter. He mentioned the whole lot you’d count on together with eager to carry again success and play entertaining soccer however he additionally made it clear how single-minded he’s.

He has spoken to loads of folks concerning the job he’s taking on however his last sentence of his information convention was telling: “I’ll draw my very own line.” He’ll do issues his personal method.

Nonetheless, there are issues he would be the subsequent fall man if the membership continues to make unhealthy selections off the sphere. Mourinho, winner of two Champions Leagues and league titles in 4 nations, maintains that his second-place end with United in 2018 is considered one of his biggest achievements such was the mess behind the scenes.

Daley Blind, who hung out at United and performed below Ten Hag at Ajax, mentioned pointedly: “I’m fairly assured in him at Manchester United, however he wants the board behind him.”

Arnold, who changed Ed Woodward as chief government in February, has promised to be extra arms off relating to soccer selections however most issues are nonetheless going to homeowners, the Glazer household, to log out.



Erik ten Hag confirms his want to incorporate Cristiano Ronaldo in his plans at Manchester United.

Regardless of his prolific outcomes at Ajax, Ten Hag is but to handle a sport in any of Europe’s prime 5 leagues and that quantities to a danger for United, however they’re additionally a danger for him and he is staking his repute on a promise that the membership can be better-run sooner or later.

He’s arriving at one of many membership’s lowest ebbs since being relegated to the second tier of English soccer in 1974. With no trophy since 2017 and coming off a season throughout which they’ve recorded their lowest factors complete within the Premier League period, there’s a number of floor to make up simply to interrupt again into the highest 4. The turnover of the squad can be bigger than regular with Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba, Edinson Cavani, Jesse Lingard and Juan Mata all set to depart as free brokers in June, whereas quite a few gamers below contract — together with Anthony Martial, Eric Bailly and Dean Henderson — have already determined they need to transfer on.

In the meantime, sources have described the environment within the dressing room as “poisonous” throughout the second half of the season with cliques forming and distrust brewing among the many gamers. Sources have informed ESPN that a part of the reasoning behind appointing former Ferguson assistant Steve McClaren as a coach is to assist enhance the temper and togetherness inside the squad.

All eyes can even be on how Ten Hag handles the captaincy, in response to sources, with the squad cut up over whether or not Harry Maguire, who had a poor season, ought to proceed with the armband. David De Gea, Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo are among the many candidates to take over if there’s a change, whereas interim supervisor Ralf Rangnick has recommended opening it as much as a vote.

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Sources have informed ESPN that Maguire, an everyday since arriving from Leicester City in 2019, shouldn’t be even assured to start out below the brand new boss due to his lack of tempo and Ten Hag’s tendency to play with a excessive defensive position. There are additionally query marks about De Gea’s potential on the ball to play in his system, though there’s an acceptance, in response to sources, that signing a striker and a midfielder is extra vital this summer time than making a change between the posts.

Ten Hag is eager to get the gamers again for preseason coaching as early as doable as he begins to work via the problems, however the membership hasn’t laid on the best summer time schedule after organising a gruelling three-week tour of Thailand and Australia.

But Ten Hag has backed himself to beat the whole lot and wake a sleeping large. United followers, although, have seen sufficient distress within the barren years since Ferguson’s retirement to know that any optimism ought to include a dose of warning. Success is at all times promised at United however most supporters will solely imagine it after they see it.

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