Soccer Betting News - SA's Leading Soccer Betting Newspaper: OPINION: What can United fans expect from Erik ten Hag’s first season?

OPINION: What can United fans expect from Erik ten Hag’s first season?

At their core – and yes, I am unashamedly about to speak on behalf of United fans – followers of Manchester United want to be assured that they will see their side play and produce a brand of football they can be proud of.
This is an English club rooted in the tenets of attacking football and given the success they have attracted, it’s strange the identity hasn’t always prevailed.

Erik ten Hag has taken the helm at Old Trafford, and to be fair, I think it’s a bold move for United. The media had reported the likes of Mauricio Pochettino – who would have brought Premier League experience as well as Julen Lopetegui and Luis Enrique, all of which have major league experience. 

What Ten Hag lacks in experience, he certainly makes up for in his teams showcasing consistently slick and fluid football. He has shown over again that he is able to bring a squad of players together to play for each other and work at an incredible rate or 90 minutes each week.

This is, however, where I am less excitable about the ten Hag appointment. The media and fanbase, so often associated with major clubs around the world, love to identify that which a manager has achieved elsewhere and then assume a copy and paste approach is imminent. This is arguably the greatest fallacy in world football. Management is less about bringing together ‘players for a system’ and more about implementing a ‘system for players’.

Manchester United have a squad of world class football players, surely should the manager find a balance between attack and defence, assertions rather than responsiveness and an underpinning philosophy which gets bought into – success surely follows? Ten Hag has shown that whilst he has a belief in what football looks like, adapting an approach to speak life into the players at his disposal earns a higher currency. 

The difference in his Ajax sides between 2019 and 2022 are evident, the introduction of a classic striker and the adapted formations suggest versatility without the sacrifice of success. This is a manager who might not have worked in a major European league, but he has shown that he can compete with the very best in Europe. 

He has been described by ex-players as a manager who is a control freak, someone who wants to hold everything close to his influence and then unapologetically looks to impart his winning mentality. Erik ten Hag is a manager who loves the attacking beauty in football, surely this is what Manchester United stand for?

United are stepping into a new era with their new manager. If there is anything United fans should be excited about and look to expect, it’s this: Ten Hag has shown that his love for expansive football is never compromised, but the way in which it is achieved isn’t set in stone. This is a world-class coach coming to Old Trafford, where he will work with world-class players – what he does with them is left to be seen. That, my dear friends, is what should excite you!

Written by Ryan Liberty