Erik ten Hag can finally fulfil his first Man United promise after signing new contract

Erik ten Hag has signed a new Manchester United contract until 2026. The Dutchman has committed his future to the Red Devils after guiding them to the FA Cup at the end of last season.

It’s a show of faith from the United board – including Sir Jim Ratcliffe and new technical director Dan Ashworth – to Ten Hag as they plan for a fresh start at Old Trafford. United are looking to improve on finishing eighth in the Premier League last season, which represented their lowest-ever finish.

But the club are confident that Ten Hag is the right man for the job, despite a lengthy end-of-season review which saw the likes of Thomas Tuchel and Marco Silva approached about replacing him. However, Ten Hag is the man to take them forward into next season and he now has no excuses.

Often during their difficult spells last season, many blamed the Glazers and those running the club high up for their damning performances and results, rather than Ten Hag. The ex-Ajax boss was blamed at times for his style of football and defensive shape, but he didn’t get the brunt of the criticism.

He said at the time: “The confidence is that I have a good feeling with the people around. I have a good feeling from the meetings. We have a plan and now it’s about getting the plan done, to get it into process. To co-operate, to be consistent in our plan, and when we have good people around with the right connection and the right commitment, we will achieve the success we want to.”

“Our plan is huge and we only have a short time [to be able to explain it now],” he added. “Of course, we will first roll it out to the staff and then we will roll it out to the players and you will see.”

Although United finished third and won the Carabao Cup in his debut season, it still did not feel like there was a distinct plan and direction to where his team was going. United would often rely on individual brilliance and their top-class players to save them and come to the rescue.

In the second season, United struggled and that is where Ten Hag’s flaws became evident. United did not have a distinct style and it felt as though they were ‘outcoached’ by even some of the teams the Red Devils would have been expected to beat, even if that is just the supporters who think that.

For example, Fulham went to Old Trafford in February and battered them. Even though it took until the 97th minute for the Whites to score a winner, they could have scored so many more before that. Silva had Fulham drilled into a successful style, while it didn’t look like United had any idea of what their identity was. Ten Hag must solve that going into the new season and there can be no blame on anything else this time.

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