With the current season coming to an end in a few months, the hot topic of Manchester United’s coaching job has gained traction in the last few weeks.
The mid-season sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was followed by the appointment of Ralf Rangnick as the interim coach for the remainder of the season.
The German has the option of shifting to a consultancy role at the end of the season and remaining at the club until 2024. This new role would allow him to influence sporting decisions at the club starting off with the appointment of the new permanent manager.
After much speculation since the arrival of Rangnick, it looks like United have narrowed it down to two names: Paris Saint-Germain coach Maurizio Pochettino and Ajax manager Erik Ten Hag.
Pochettino has been liked by the United hierarchy ever since his Tottenham days and according to reports is even preferred by the United dressing room.
With PSG’s disappointing elimination in the UCL at the hands of Real Madrid, the Argentine coach is said to be in danger of being dismissed by the French club which has put United on high alert to swoop in if the opportunity arises.
Ajax’s Dutch coach has also impressed the United hierarchy and is, as per reports, also Rangnick’s preference to take over the permanent coach job.
Ten Hag has architected a number of quality Ajax squads that have gone toe to toe with some of Europe’s elites in the past 5 years. With the Overmars scandal boiling over at the home of the Dutch champions, Ten Hag could be tempted away at the end of the season with his preferred destination being Manchester.
With United’s troublesome situation on and off the pitch this season, the Dutchman has been warned by compatriot and current Netherlands coach Louis van Gaal who expressed his reservations about Ten Hag becoming the permanent coach.
“Ten Hag is a great manager and that’s always good for Manchester United. But Manchester United is a commercial club. It’s better for him to go to an actual football club,” remarked the Dutchman.
LVG was undoubtedly speaking from experience having had a tough time during his stint as United’s coach which ultimately ended bitterly as he was sacked after winning them his first and only trophy (2015 FA Cup).
United have been criticized lately, especially the club’s American owners, the Glazer family, for putting commercial needs such as shirt sales and popularity first ahead of more pressing sporting needs, by fans and ex-players.
It looks like fans have got behind Van Gaal’s latest criticism of the club as few fans have taken to Twitter to point out evidence proving the Dutchman’s statement in the form of MUTV’s latest program that discusses the Top 4 situation in the PL with presenters representing other clubs in the race.
Usually, this would be an interesting segment to host as recently the Top 4 race and the relegation battle have often been more entertaining to follow than the title race. Arsenal and Tottenham have been churning out wins and sit 4th and 5th respectively on the table as United dropped to 6th due to their poor form.
Fans are naturally upset that the severity of the situation (trophyless and without UCL) has perhaps not been reflected by the club which has continued to host these collaborative programs to gain online traction and fan following.
LVG’s comments surely would have given ETH and even Pochettino something to think about. They would know the need to dig deep to remove the corroding sporting set-up at the club as they seek to restore it to its former glory if appointed as coach.