One of the most followed development in the word of sport in the past few days was the appointment of Erik ten Hag as Mnachester United’s next manager.
The development was not only keenly followed by United fans, supporters of Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester City in the Premier League. And the reason is simple for non-United supporters. The Old Trafford side have been a real laughing stock for few years now due to their misery on the field. United last won the league in the 2012/13 season, but there have seven domestic titles between three of the four mentioned sides since that time.
United returning to an era of success would mean problems for the other big sides in England.
The Manchester-based club have experimented with seven coaches since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013 after 26 years in charge. The four substantive coaches made fruitless efforts to establish their philosophy, and only Jose Mourinho and Louis van Gaal could win the club an Europa League trophy and FA Cup title respectively after investing millions of pounds in players’ signings.
According to the International Centre for Sports Studies (CIES), United are the top biggest spenders from Europe’s top five leagues since 202/13, lavishing £1.075 billion on transfers.
The club seem to have learnt that the gamble with ‘big name’ coaches has not been paying off with them, and are ultimately frustrated over the failure of the managers to infuse a playing philosophy into the players.
Before the club announced ten Hag’s appoitment last Thursday, there were reports that some players do not want the Ajax coach to replace Ralf Rangnick.
However, his first interview after the news of his impending departure from the Dutcb side must have sent shiver done the spine of United’s so-called big players, who have been described as “lazy” and “burden” to the club.
“I will tell them [big players] their task and whoever does not meet those tasks will hear that from me, no matter who it is,” ten Hag warned when he spoke to trouw.
The 52-year-old worked with the same philosophy at Ajax, and he is set to win the club another league title in few days.
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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.