Manchester United Appoints Erik Ten Hag


He will follow the German coach Ralf Rangnick, who was hired on a temporary basis to replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, a popular former player with United who was appointed with little high-profile coaching experience and struggled to come to terms with the scale of the task of managing United, a team with a global fan base and expectations of success. He was not the only one to fail to meet those lofty expectations.

United has stumbled from coach to coach with varying formulas — high-profile figures like Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho as well as the Scotsman David Moyes, Ferguson’s handpicked successor — without ever looking likely to come close to putting down foundations that could put the team back on course for regular success.

Ten Hag’s appointment comes two days after United was humbled, 4-0, at Liverpool, which is currently engaged in a high octane, neck-and-neck race with City for the Premier League title. United has drifted to sixth place, 23 points behind the leader, City, and is at risk of failing to qualify for next season’s Champions League.

His appointment is not unexpected. United had long targeted him as a possible new coach and had spoken with him on numerous occasions as it looked to plan for the future. United had alighted on ten Hag, 52, along with the Argentine Mauricio Pochettino, the Paris St. Germain coach, who drew admirers for his team-building work at Tottenham Hotspur. In the end it is ten Hag who has been entrusted with the opportunity to revive the fallen giant.

“In our conversations with Erik leading up to this appointment, we were deeply impressed with his long-term vision for returning Manchester United to the level we want to be competing at, and his drive and determination to achieve that,” John Murtough, United’s football director, said.

United’s slide has been so profound that it may be years before ten Hag can be expected to make United challengers for the biggest titles. The current coach, Rangnick, said as much after the miserable performance against Liverpool, during which many United fans left the stadium well before the referee brought an end to the humiliation.

“It is embarrassing, it is disappointing, maybe even humiliating,” a chastened but cleareyed Rangnick said on Tuesday. “We have to accept they are six years ahead of us now. When Jurgen Klopp came they changed at the club and lifted not just the team but the club and city to a new level. That is what needs to happen with us in the next transfer windows.”

Source : NYtimes