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Erik ten Hag at Manchester United : Three Problems He Will Face

Erik ten Hag has been officially announced as the manager of Manchester United from next season. He will get a full pre-season to impart his ideas into the team but it will not be an easy job. Mediocrity has become the norm at Manchester United and the club’s rotten culture is not going to change overnight. This article talks about three issues Erik ten Hag will have to resolve at Manchester United in order to reinstate the club’s past glory.


#3 Scouting system

Even during Sir Alex Ferguson’s last few seasons, United were panned for having an outdated scouting network. The Glazers took charge of United without a concrete footballing plan and now they are facing the consequences of it. Much smaller clubs like Leicester have a better scouting network than United and Ten Hag needs to address this problem immediately.

Ten Hag will be inheriting one of the weakest United squads of the Premier League era. Players such as Nemanja Matic, Juan Mata, Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard and Edinson Cavani are likely to leave the club in the summer when their contract expires. The future of Ronaldo and Rashford hangs in the balance while other such as Fred might not suit Ten Hag’s system.


As Rangnick said, It will take another two or three transfer windows for United to reach the level of Manchester City or Liverpool. For that to happen, United’s scouting network must be at the top of their game. Ten Hag and United’s scouts should be on the same page as the Dutchman demands very specific skills from his players. The Manchester United board is also likely to grant full control to Ten Hag when it comes to recruitments.

#2 Long-term footballing plan

United have lacked long-term planning when it comes to their managerial appointments since 2013. Moyes, Mourinho, Van Gaal etc are all different from each other and none of them were allowed to think long term.  For a long time there has been a question mark over the kind of football that United want to play. Many former players want the Red Devils to play football in the “United way”. But the bigger problem is nobody is able to define what the United brand of football means. Under Sir Alex Ferguson, United were a fast and fluid team but the Scot never stuck to a single ideology.

Erik ten Hag will definitely want his players to keep possession, recycle it with purpose and strike at the right moment. He should be given ample amount of time to infuse his ideology into the club. More than winning trophies, the squad that Erik ten Hag leaves behind must be well equipped to deal with any manager’s playing style.


#1 Managing big egos

The most important of all the issues facing Erik ten Hag at Manchester United is managing big egos. Cristiano Ronaldo has delivered time and again for United this season but there has been lingering concerns over his larger impact on the squad. There has been reports of fallout with younger players and his own diminishing work rate with age. Erik Ten Hag at Manchester United must try his best to fit both the Portuguese stars, Bruno and Ronaldo, in his playing eleven. Asking Cristiano Ronaldo to warm the bench is never an easy task and hence Bruno might have to sacrifice his place for the greater good.



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