Manchester United are closing in on hiring Erik ten Hag as their next manager. With the 52-year-old’s appointment imminent in the coming weeks, The Free Press Journal talks to five football followers ahead of the arrival of the Dutchman at Old Trafford.
Rohan Lad, 40, credit manager
I feel Erik ten Hag is not the right fit for Manchester United. The Red Devils are in one of their worst slumps in their history with players forgetting what it feels to win. They have gone five seasons without a trophy. What Manchester United need right now is a manager with a proven reputation, who can transform the current disjointed squad into trophy winners. By hiring the Dutchman, United will have a boss who is yet to prove himself in a league as competitive as the English Premier League (EPL). Even the experienced Pep Guardiola spent a year doubting his abilities as a manager after taking over at Manchester City. They should have hired current PSG manager Mauricio Pochettino as their new boss instead of Ten Hag.
Anthony Nadar, 37, executive producer
It is too early to judge whether hiring Erik ten Hag as the next Manchester United manager is the right move or not. If you see Ten Hag’s appointment, it is similar to that of Sir Alex Ferguson, who came from the Scottish club Aberdeen in 1986 and not from top European clubs like Real Madrid or Juventus. The Scottsman went on to take the Red Devils to great heights. Similarly, Ten Hag too, may not be a well-known face in football, but he has similar traits to Ferguson and might just be able to work his magic at Old Trafford and bring in silverware.
Anish Nair, 34, content producer
Erik ten Hag is not the right man for a club like Manchester United. And why am I so blunt? Just see the enormous task that lay in front of him at Old Trafford. Egoistic players, a team that has no pride in winning, an unbalanced squad and no youth development are some of the massive issues that are plaguing Manchester United. Hiring an inexperienced manager is the last thing United fans will want. Spanish giants Real Madrid too faced similar issues the previous season and they roped in a seasoned manager in Carlo Ancelloti. Now the Los Blancos are on top of the La Liga table and in the Champions League semi-finals. United too should have brought in an experienced manager to stem the slump. Fingers crossed.
Sijo Jose, 38, self-employed
Manchester United, over the years, have lost their identity as a club. They do not even have a style of play unlike their EPL rivals—Manchester City and Liverpool. When Jurgen Klopp took over at Anfield, the club was more of a counter-attacking team. The German has brought in what he calls a ‘heavy metal football’ to the club. On the blue side of Manchester, Pep Guardiola has brought in a tiki-taka style of play. Erik ten Hag, who was a coach under Guardiola during the Spaniard’s reign at Bayern Munich, has a similar style of play with an emphasis on possession and high tempo football. That will allow the club management to sign players who suit the Dutchman’s style, creating an identity for the club. The players will benefit too as they will have a clear idea of the things going forward. United will have the right man at the helm in Ten Hag.
Ruben Chandekar, 39, IT professional
I think getting Erik ten Hag to Old Trafford will be the best piece of business Manchester United would have done since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement (in 2013). United have been in a transitional phase since the departure of the great Scott. And Ten Hag will help the Red Devils take the next step. The Dutchman was handed a similar task of leading Ajax through the transitional phase in 2017. Since then, he has won two dutch league titles (2018–19, 2020–21) and two domestic cups (2018–19, 2020–21). So he has got the requisite experience that United bosses are looking for. Manchester United will flourish under Ten Hag.