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United View: Ten Hag gives his say in first public appearance

Erik ten Hag gave his first public appearance following the announcement he would continue his position as Manchester United manager, working as a pundit for NOS in his native Holland on Sunday night.

After weeks of ambiguity, the season-review conducted by INEOS resulted in the new minority owners of United choosing to stick with the Dutchman. Even though there were reports suggesting that Ten Hag would be let go at the end of the season.

The FA Cup win may have done a great deal in swaying that decision, but INEOS were still holding meetings with other potential managers. Speaking to NOS, Ten Hag said, “I don’t think that’s a secret either, because everyone got to know that they talked to several candidates.”

To some this may have been seen a sign of disrespect but the Dutchman who is often self-assured in his abilities added “They came to the conclusion that they had the best trainer.”

Rather than get disgruntled around his new bosses searching for a replacement, Ten Hag took a diplomatic stance on this, understanding the decision to evaluate all potential options.

The likes of Thomas Frank, Thomas Tuchel and Gareth Southgate all being considered for the role. All good coaches in their own right, but difficult to say they are a significant improvement on what United currently have.

Ten Hag also gave an honest response on Marcus Rashford being omitted from the England squad, saying that he and Jack Grealish were ‘both lacking’ in the 23/24 campaign.

Despite a poor season, Ten Hag has shown he is able to nurture young talent, with Alejandro Garnacho and Kobbie Mainoo both becoming prominent members of the starting eleven at United. And with INEOS hoping to cultivate a young squad, they already have a manager with a history of developing promising talent.

Another reason why they may have chosen to stick with the current manager is that he is also shown great resilience in his time at Old Trafford. At no point during his tenure has Ten Hag ever sounded defeated, even after harsh results or difficult spells.

As things stand the Dutchman will enter the 24/25 season with only one year left on his contract and when asked about the contract dilemma Ten Hag said, “we still have to talk about that,”

Undoubtedly things will need to improve from last season, but after a campaign not quite like any other and that FA Cup victory it only feels fair to allow Ten Hag another chance to show he is the man for the future at Old Trafford.

United have already started to make moves in the transfer window, targeting Everton’s Jared Branthwaite, having a £35 million bid for the English centre half rejected. However, with the Toffee’s reportedly needing to comply with PSR regulations they may need to offload the talented centre half before June 30th.

The Reds have also been linked with young Dutch International Joshua Zirkzee. The 23-year-old forward has a £34 million release clause at Italian side Bologna and is currently representing his country at the European Championships.

With United also having to comply with FFP they need to utilise the market effectively this summer, including the sales of key players on big wages such as Jadon Sancho, Casemiro and Mason Greenwood. Although nothing has been reported at the time of writing.

Ten Hag has always been adamant in his stance of wanting to succeed at Manchester United, even refusing to speak to Bayern Munich over their vacant managerial position. He has gained plenty of good faith from the supporters along the way but will need to hit the ground running next season if he is to avoid further examination.

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