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Glory, glory, Man United! How ten Hag ended the trophy drought

After a humbling beginning to his tenure at Old Trafford, the Dutch coach has converted the Red Devils into a squad that is aiming for an improbable quadruple. 

Erik ten Hag man utd

After a humbling beginning to his tenure at Old Trafford, the Dutch coach has converted the Red Devils into a squad that is aiming for an improbable quadruple. 

The tenure of Erik ten Hag at Manchester United could hardly have gotten off to a more inauspicious start. The Red Devils suffered a 2-1 home opening day defeat at the hands of Brighton and then traveled to Brentford, where they were heavily defeated by a score of 4-0. The result elicited the kind of frenetic reaction that should be expected when United suffers a thrashing, with critics warning that the club was irreparably damaged.

In only a few short months, though, Ten Hag’s team is already in a position where they might potentially fight for four trophies in addition to the Premier League crown. Old Trafford has been cloaked in gloom for the past ten years, but it appears like Manchester United may finally be on the verge of emerging from its slumber.

The Dutchman is responsible for this pretty extraordinary turnaround and ending the trophy drought at Old Trafford, which he accomplished by instituting discipline, making some great moves in the transfer market, and enhancing the performances of numerous players who had previously looked to be heading for the trash heap.

Manchester United fans will be hoping that this is just the start of the Erik ten Hag era, and there are many accolades to follow. United has a massive fan following throughout the globe, and Man UTD tickets are not easy items to get your hands on.

Revitalizing Rashford

Marcus Rashford had a season that was filled with a lot of ups and downs in 2021–22. It all started with a little injury, and from then on out, he was never able to get going. By the time the season was up, he had a demoralizing 12-game scoring drought in the Premier League.

To tell you the truth, there were occasions when Marcus Rashford appeared uninterested and indifferent, and there were loud rumblings that he may end his career with Manchester United this summer.

The arrival of Ten Hag, on the other hand, has completely changed his prospects. Rashford is probably the best player in Europe right now. He has scored 24 goals in all competitions, which is more than he has ever scored in a single season. The remarkable progress that Rashford has made is a prime illustration of Ten Hag’s outstanding man-management skills. As a result of his efforts, the confidence of the forward has been rebuilt, and it is unthinkable that he would be moved at this point.

Instilling the same amount of discipline as Ferguson

The recent meeting between Ten Hag and Sir Alex Ferguson, which was fueled by red wine, made headlines, and the current manager of Manchester United said that he “cannot wait for the next one.” The Dutchman’s predecessors have found that comparing themselves to the famous Fergie era has been more of a problem than a help, but it’s clear that there are a lot of similarities between these two.

The most noticeable similarity is that both Ferguson and Ten Hag enforce strict discipline in their respective changing rooms. Throughout this season, there has been no one exempt from the code of conduct. Even Rashford, who was in the form of his life, was put on the bench after being late to a meeting. Also, Jadon Sancho, who was bought for a lot of money, was put on a specific training program to help him with both his mental and physical problems.

Putting Ronaldo in the rearview mirror

The drawn-out controversy surrounding Cristiano Ronaldo is, without a doubt, the case that best illustrates United’s improved sense of discipline. It takes a unique kind of leader to take on one of the most powerful figures in sports on the entire globe, but Ten Hag did just that, and he “won” the battle.

 The first indications of dissatisfaction surfaced during a preseason friendly match against Rayo Vallecano. Ronaldo, who was agitating for a move away from the club at the time, was one of the players to leave the field before the game had reached its conclusion. Ten Hag referred to the occurrence as “inappropriate,” and he refused to gloss over his disrespectful behavior.

In November, he repeated the feat, and after his team’s victory over Tottenham, he headed right down the tunnel. Later, in that well-known interview with Piers Morgan, Ronaldo said that Ten Hag “provoked” him into doing what he did because Ten Hag only used him as a late substitute in the game. Ronaldo blamed his actions on ten Hag.

Soon after this incident, Ronaldo would announce his intention to leave Old Trafford, something many people felt Ten Hag had always intended for him to do despite the many upbeat statements he made in news conferences.

Ronaldo has since moved on to Al Nassr and Manchester United, now freed from the relentless media scrutiny that his ill-fated second stint at the club brought with it. 

Inspired transfer deals

The verdict is still out on Antony, and United may likely benefit from adding another striker to their roster, but in general, Ten Hag has done a good job of handling the transfer market so far.

The acquisition of Lisandro Martinez was met with much disapproval in the summer, most notably by Jamie Carragher, who has now been compelled to retract his criticism in light of the Argentine’s outstanding performance. Incredibly, Christian Eriksen was given to United for free, and he has proven to be an amazing piece of business as well, providing them with a far greater cutting edge in the last third of the field.

The most noteworthy development, on the other hand, is undoubtedly the acquisition of Casemiro. The Brazilian, who was acquired by Manchester United from Real Madrid for a fee of £70 million, has had a curative impact on the club’s midfield. He has provided the club with much-needed solidity and control by dismantling the much-maligned Scott McTominay-Fred pivot.

Ten Hag might be given a transfer war chest by the new owners, and the club would do well to listen to his recommendations since he has an almost perfect record of recruiting players.

Innovative training techniques to help players progress

The fact that ten Hag represented a style of manager that Manchester United had not yet experimented with in the post-Fergie era was the primary selling point for bringing him to Manchester. To be specific, a youthful, forward-thinking coach at the peak of his career

Ten Hag is among a group of pioneers pushing the boundaries of coaching in 2023, as opposed to his predecessors Louis van Gaal and José Mourinho, both of whom were already past their prime when they took over. On paper, he looks like the kind of leader that every ambitious, top-level player wants to work with. When he was in charge of Ajax, he put in place a complicated tactical system that helped the team do much better than expected.

There is no doubt that his coaching has helped in this way as well. Aside from Rashford’s meteoric rise to prominence, Aaron Wan Bissaka’s career had come to a dramatic halt before he took over, but ever since the World Cup, the defender has played some of his best football in the red shirt for England.  

As a result of ten Hag seeing Luke Shaw’s potential as a central defender, Shaw has made tremendous strides in his development and has filled in well when the position was vacant.

The Dutchman’s ability to improve players is a welcome change after years of the team remaining stagnant. The rise of Alejandro Garnacho and Facundo Pellistri has also been interesting, and the Dutchman’s coaching has had a lot to do with this. Fans of Manchester United will be hoping that Antony and Sancho will grow similarly soon.

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