Ralf Rangnick is doing his best to rescue Manchester United’s season but a lot of fans are just desperate to know who the new permanent boss will be so we can start planning for the future.
Ajax’s Erik ten Hag and Paris Saint-Germain’s Mauricio Pochettino are the two managers who look to be the main candidates to grace the home dugout at Old Trafford next season.
Whether you prefer the former’s stylish brand of football or the latter’s Premier League nous, compelling arguments could be made for either to be the right man to take the reins from Rangnick in the summer.
One of the aspects of Rangnick’s personality that has pleased United fans most since his appointment is how candid he can be in press conferences, so we’ve taken a look at the best quotes from the men who appear to be the frontrunners in the race to be named the new permanent United manager.
Erik ten Hag
“The second half had the same game image, Twente was no longer involved and it was very difficult with our intensity. I think they are still well-served with 5-0.”
If this doesn’t excite United supporters then I’m not sure what will.
Even after Ajax beat FC Twente 5-0, Ten Hag was still left frustrated that his side didn’t score more goals. This is exactly the type of mentality missing at Old Trafford right now and it would be refreshing to see such an attitude at the club.
“We should have scored more. I enjoyed my team’s performance. The pressing was good and our play was excellent. From there we created a lot of opportunities. We just didn’t capitalize on them enough.”
Again, he’s hitting the sweet spot with this quote.
A 3-0 win over Heracles in the Eredivisie earlier this month still wasn’t enough to quench Ten Hag’s thirst for goals.
United were renowned for their relentless attacking football under Sir Alex Ferguson and Ten Hag’s philosophy would go down a treat with the Old Trafford faithful.
“It’s about possession, about movement, about vertical attacking patterns, about pressing, wingers moving into the middle to make room for the full-backs. Everyone is attacking, everyone is defending.”
Scoring goals is all fine and well but you need to have a solid backline if you’re ever going to challenge for the title.
Ten Hag obviously likes his team to play neat football but he’s far too knowledgable to think you can neglect the defensive side of the game.
“To show respect for the opponent is to go and kill with every single action. That is the way you show it. You need to be aggressive. That is how I understand football.”
Welcome to the manager race, Mauricio.
United’s play has lacked aggression for a long time and so the fact Pochettino demands nothing less than 100% from his team in every single game is something that fans will love to hear.
“My ambition is to win the Champions League one day or the Premier League.”
Pochettino said this when he was Tottenham boss but he likely still harbors hope of achieving said goals considering he won neither of those trophies during his time in north London.
The Argentine tactician wants to win the biggest prizes on offer and so he’d fit in well at Old Trafford.
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“You show on the pitch who you are. If you are brave in your life, you cannot behave in a different way on the pitch. I don’t understand how to play in a different way. Always be brave. I like to be brave.”
There’s a lot to be said for a manager who wants his players to be brave.
Some United players could be accused of going missing and failing to turn up when the team needs them most, but there would be none of that under Pochettino.
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