Erik ten Hag is not the first new manager to believe he can fix Manchester United – but he could be the last

Determined to go his own way in the role, Ten Hag thinks he is the right man to restore post-Ferguson United’s former glories

<p>Erik ten Hag ponders the task ahead at Old Trafford on Monday </p>

Erik ten Hag ponders the task ahead at Old Trafford on Monday

Erik ten Hag believes he can fix Manchester United and that should not come as a surprise to anyone. In fact, you would hope that is a prerequisite of accepting what is arguably the most difficult job in football management. There were four other men who succeeded Sir Alex Ferguson on a permanent basis before him plus an interim manager too, though, and they all believed the same.

Ten Hag knows one of his predecessors relatively well. During his unveiling at Old Trafford on Monday lunchtime, he revealed he had spoken with Louis van Gaal at the premiere of a documentary on the Netherlands head coach’s life in Amsterdam last month. A couple of weeks earlier, Van Gaal had publicly advised him to spurn United’s advances and “join a football club, not a commercial club”.

You imagine a similar message was relayed at the premiere, and knowing Van Gaal, in even stronger terms. But it clearly did not influence Ten Hag’s thinking. “I heard [Van Gaal’s comments], but I draw my own line. I’m convinced this will not be the case,” the new United manager said. “I spoke with the directors about it… Every club needs it, needs the revenues to be at the top. To do it is necessary but football is one, two, three at this club.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in