With Erik ten Hag finally happiness back at Manchester United? / Premier League / J34 / Arsenal-Manchester United /

Several months in the pipes and without much surprise, Manchester United officially announced the arrival of Erik ten Hag, the current Ajax Amsterdam coach, on the bench last Thursday. Red Devils from next season. As well as retaking Ralf Rangnick’s place, the 52-year-old Dutch tactician will have the difficult task of succeeding where all his predecessors have broken their teeth for nine years and making the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson: Manchester United shine again.

“Manchester United are delighted to announce the appointment of Erik ten Hag as first-team manager, subject to obtaining a work visa, from the end of the season until June 2025, with an optional additional year. † It is with these words that fans of Red Devils discovered the news over lunch this Thursday. Ralf Rangnick, poached in the fall of 2021 to replace Ole Gunnar Solskjær, had quickly decided to take only an interim assignment until the end of the season before moving on to a bespoke (or ghost?) position of technical counselor. the plate the MU therefore had the time to work on serious and qualitative tracks in order to appoint a coach that matches the ambitions of the club. And the choice fell on Erik ten Hag, target number one, who is therefore leaving Ajax Amsterdam after five years of top flight, interrupted by two titles of champion of the Netherlands (and probably a third in a few weeks), two national cups, a Dutch Supercup and above all a Champions League semi-final in 2019 after an exceptional career that left scars for Real Madrid and Juventus. A bold choice by the coach, who ventures into the minefield.

Manchester United, nightmare theater for coaches

While Manchester United, like Arsenal’s Arsene Wenger, have been an exception for decades, trusting one manager, in this case Sir Alex Ferguson (from 1986 to 2013), for 27 years, the situation has changed a lot since then. In nine years’ time, eight managers have succeeded each other on the bench of Red Devils (David Moyes, Ryan Giggs, Louis van Gaal, José Mourinho, Ole Gunnar Solskjær, Michael Carrick, Ralf Rangnick and thus Erik ten Hag), three of whom were only temporary (Giggs, Carrick and Rangnick). A testament to the instability and lingering fog in Manchester since Ferguson’s retirement, as well as the scourge that parasitizes a club that has more trouble rebuilding than destroying the careers of its coaches. A well-known fact in France, with Paris Saint-Germain having the same fate for most technicians since QSI’s arrival in 2011, except that the French club continued to post more positive results.

A sad record that could have cooled Ten Hag, just like Advice from Van Gaalbut “the Little General”, a nickname he earned during his season on the Go Ahead Eagles bench in 2012-2013, sees it rather as the challenge he’s always dreamed of: joining a big club for its value to prove. † “I am very excited about the challenge ahead of mehe confessed in the press release of his appointment published on the club’s website. I know the history of this great club and the passion that drives the supporters, and I am absolutely determined to build a team capable of achieving the success they deserve. † And the Batavian has arguments to plead his case.

Erik, it’s stylish

Much more than his results at Ajax or the few gold nuggets revealed under his mandate (Matthijs de Ligt, Frenkie de Jong, Ryan Gravenberch…), Ten Hag shows through his style, more obsessed with victory and efficiency than light and glory. “Already in my time, after our matches, on the bus, he watched videos of the next opponentexplained Marnix Kolder, captain of the Go Ahead Eagles when Ten Hag was sitting on the bench, in a portrait dedicated to the Dutch coach and published in March in SoFootThe next day he pointed out the things I had not done right. I was already 30 years old, but it was the first time I felt what it took to become a real professional football player. † A diehard who, if we have to compare it to two of his future rivals, would be closer to Jürgen Klopp than to Pep Guardiola. “We often compare him to Guardiola, but he borrows a lot from Klopp”opulence Blaise Nkufo, top scorer in the history of Twente, where Ten Hag was an assistant from 2006 to 2009. The high pressing, the six seconds to get the ball back imposed by the gene pressing, these are all exercises I found from the first day at Ten Hag in Twente. † Tactical sessions that can sometimes last for hours, but with a particularly effective performance and which will require a Manchester United in distress for several seasons, the results of which depend too much on his individuality (cf. the current season with Cristiano Ronaldo

Although he hasn’t set foot in Carrington, the training center for Red Devilsin the shoes of the club’s manager, Ten Hag already has several supporters such as Fred. “He is a world class coach who will help us a lot here. I looked at Ajax and they are a great team who play good footballdropped the Brazil international a few hours after the news to Premier League Productions. The priority is to improve, develop, keep fighting and fight for trophies. We need to become the huge club of Manchester United again and we know that the new manager will help us get back on track. † And if he hasn’t already been mentioned by Sir Alex himselfhopes to find the heights have never been stronger among MU fans, who won’t have had the pleasure of seeing their team win the Premier League for a decade next year.

By Fabien Gelinat

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