Manchester United are preparing to roll metaphorical dice once more, with the Red Devils opting to take another calculated risk in the managerial department. Plenty of those calls have already been made, with results being mixed to say the least.
After bidding farewell to the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson in 2013, the most decorated side in English football history has tried just about every trick in the book in a bid to rekindle former glories. David Moyes had potential on his side, Louis van Gaal boasted substance over style, Jose Mourinho was a proven winner and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will forever be remembered for sealing a Treble triumph in 1999 with that Champions League final goal against Bayern Munich.
With all of those appointments now cast aside, and Ralf Rangnick preparing to head upstairs into a consultancy role once a season that has the Red Devils at 150/1 for a top-four finish in bet on Premier League markets has come to a close, United have decided to go Dutch once more.
Collective fingers have seemingly healed after being burnt by van Gaal – who delivered FA Cup glory during his tenure – and are about to be thrust into the coaching fire. The hope is that no more lasting damage will be done on this occasion.
A side with 13 Premier League titles to its name has endured serious regression since the last of those crowns was captured, with big spending on supposedly world-class performers delivering more questions than answers during a trophyless run that now stands at five years and counting.
The right choice?
Ten Hag will arrive in Manchester over the summer boasting the pedigree to suggest that he is capable of plugging the leaks in a slowly sinking ship before eventually turning it around. His CV boasts two Eredivisie title triumphs and a couple of Dutch Cup successes while with Ajax, with the plan being to complete a hat-trick on the domestic dominance front this season.
He has, however, never managed outside of his native Netherlands at the very highest level. With that in mind, obvious questions continue to be asked about whether he is the right man to take on the most demanding of roles at Old Trafford.
United, though, have tried those with more and less experience, those who have worked in England before and those who have not, and the end results has always been the same. In many ways, with expectations being reined in ever so slightly, Ten Hag has little to lose and everything to gain.
OFFICIAL: Manchester United confirm Erik ten Hag as their next manager 🔴 pic.twitter.com/pJFKinQtSu— GOAL (@goal) April 21, 2022
If he were to get the Red Devils back into a winning habit, while playing the entertaining brand of football he has grown accustomed to overseeing in Amsterdam, then he will become an instant hero to millions around the world. If he flops, then he is merely following a trend put in place by his predecessors.
It seems highly unlikely that he will get anywhere close to emulating the 26 years that Ferguson spent in the dugout at the so-called Theatre of Dreams, but United need him to show that he can follow in those footsteps.
After dipping below once customary high standards for far too long now, the Red Devils are desperate to see their next boss become another Ten out of 10.