Unveiling the Shared Trait Between Erik ten Hag and Sir Alex Ferguson Behind Manchester United’s Triumph
After Manchester United won the Carabao Cup, Erik ten Hag escorted a jubilant Sir Alex Ferguson into the club’s locker room.
Ten Hag made a lovely gesture, having dined with Ferguson prior to the Wembley final, and it was great to see the iconic 81-year-old genuinely thrilled to be watching United again after the club became unrecognizable last season.
Ferguson was pictured looking desolate and seemingly inconsolable during the Liverpool fiasco at Old Trafford in October 2021, yet just 16 months later, the club he achieved so much success with is headed in the right direction again under Ten Hag’s guidance.
Since Ferguson’s retirement in 2013, there have been numerous false dawns, but this appointment feels different. One individual has produced a genuine sense of optimism and unity among supporters who feel connected to the players.
United had been experiencing the club’s greatest trophy drought in over 40 years before this season, and it’s anticipated that the Carabao Cup, while not the most sought medal in England, will be the first of many for Ten Hag.
Upon Ten Hag’s arrival, the players were put through their paces and properly prepared in pre-season, and they have responded well to his disciplinarian attitude subsequently, which some in the dressing room had the potential to reject.
The squad recognized that discipline needed to be improved, and Ten Hag was responsible for that. He is straightforward, honest, and critical in both defeat and victory, which he shares with Ferguson.
“Erik stated it this morning, and I think he’s correct,” Ferguson remarked after the Carabao Cup final. United is built on success, and he’s on the right track. His signings have been excellent, which I believe was crucial.
“And he’s got a grip of the club which is really, really big for him. When you come to United, you try and get off to a good start right away and he’s doing well, he really is.”
Those comments were a glowing endorsement of Ten Hag and it was interesting to hear Ferguson emphasise the importance of ‘getting a grip of the club’, as other previous managers have perhaps lacked that authority.
Although things couldn’t be any worse, Ten Hag has raised the bar, and his vicious approach is to blame. That happened again on Wednesday night in the FA Cup, when United underperformed and was chastised at halftime.
The score remained 0-0 at the break, but Ten Hag was not pleased. The boss went ‘pretty strong’ with his message during the halftime, according to Harry Maguire, who was asked about it during his news conference.
“What I saw was that we were not playing to our standards,” Ten Hag said. “That’s what I saw in the first half. Then I will be tough on my team, to my players, because I demand a performance. Every day I demand a performance.
“I don’t accept when it’s lower, then I will criticise them and tell them what to expect. Then I have to give the team solutions on how to win the game and I think the performance in the second-half was much better.”
Ten Hag’s response exemplifies why he is regarded as supporters’ favorite manager since Ferguson.
Ferguson may even say in the future that Ten Hag was the best of the group.