What is as certain as death and tax is that Manchester United will have a new manager in charge next season; their fourth since Sir Alex Ferguson dropped the baton after winning the club’s last Premier League title almost 10 years ago.
Between 2013 and now, United have had three coaches as stop gaps–Ryan Giggs, Michael Carrick and the current boss, Ralf Rangnick, who will step into the role of the Sporting Director for two years at the end of the season.
For few years now, the hierarchy at Old Trafford viewed Paris Saint-German manager, Mauricio Pochettino, as the successor to Ferguson, who is personally said to have a soft spot for the Argentine tactician.
The position was understandable, considering the relative successes Pochettino achieved at the club, taking an almost average team to second and third place finishes in the league, reaching the last 16 of the UEFA Champions League and reaching the final of the competition in 2019. United believed the 50-year-old would do well in Manchester if given the needed support.
The ‘chosen one’, David Moyes, ‘special one’, Jose Mourinho, Louis van Gaal and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer have all been failed experiments at the Theatre of Dream, and the most recently trial being Solskjaer, reminded the 20-time league winners of their desire for Pochettino.
Following Solskjaer’s sack in November 2021, the PSG manager’s name reverberated around United and he without any rivalry, became the favourite to replace the Norwegian, until Ajax coach Erik ten Hag, who has now been reportedly chosen to be the club’s new manager, emerged from the shadows.
At a zoom meeting Pochettino held with United chiefs weeks ago, it was reported that he was more concerned about how much the club would make available to him for transfers to fix up the team, which already gulps millions of pound weekly in salary.
However, it was claimed that ten Hag convinced the club’s board during his interview about what he would do tactically to improve the team and replicate his successes at Ajax.
It was stated that after several managerial disappointments, United executives are now more interested in a manager who would implant a playing style in the team rather than focus of acquiring new players; a critical question Pochettino did not reportedly provide an answer to.
According to reports, ten Hag has now agreed personal teams with United and will be announced soon as the new substantive coach at United.
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Ashaolu Olufemi is a graduate of mass communication from Kaduna Polytechnic, and also a member of NIPR. His love for media and writing has become stronger with experience over the years.