July 15, 2022 2 min read
After a rather forgettable season for Manchester United, it is all change in terms of the man in charge and with interim boss Ralf Rangnick leaving the reins for somebody else to pick up, it is Erik ten Hag who becomes the next managerial incumbent.
A man who is perhaps best known for leading Ajax to the Champions League semi-finals in 2019 and were it not for a dramatic Lucas Moura winner, he would also be known for facing Liverpool in the competition’s showpiece event.
However, football’s higher powers had other ideas in mind and with that night in Amsterdam now in the history books, it is ten Hag himself who is looking to make history as the new manager of Manchester United.
A club that has won the most Premier League titles with 13 to their name and although they have not scaled the top step of English football since Sir Alex Ferguson’s final campaign in 2013, they must still be considered one of the biggest clubs in the competition.
Not only but they can just as easily be considered one of the biggest clubs in the world and for what was once considered a powerhouse of the English game, their powers have weakened in the last couple of years.
Something that United’s new manager will be keen to address and although there was an attempt at evolution in the second half of the previous campaign, then interim boss Ralf Rangnick’s methods failed to really resonate with the players who he oversaw.
Then again, there was a sense that Rangnick was something of a supply teacher and with the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Paul Pogba being unwilling to buy into the Austrian’s methods, any bid for a return to the Champions League was always going to fall short.
Although with Pogba now wearing Juventus colors once again and lingering questions over Ronaldo’s future, it is fair to say that ten Hag will not suffer any fools gladly. Which means if his inherited superstars are not fully focused, playing time will not be afforded to them.
A stance that has perhaps been lacking at the Theatre of Dreams since the sacking of Jose Mourinho as manager and although ten Hag is not necessarily a disciplinarian, it will be his way or the highway at the end of the day.
While with his installation now in place, the focus turns to transfer personnel and with Christian Eriksen set to join after his short-term deal at Brentford ended in June, the Dane will be a welcome addition in midfield.
Especially when you consider the talents that are already at the club and if United’s new manager can sort out the defensive woes that plagued them last season, then silverware may not be all that far away.
Admittedly the pursuit of the Premier League may be wishful thinking for 2022/23 but any of the three cup competitions that they will enter – including a tilt at winning the Europa League, will certainly be on ten Hag’s first season agenda.
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