There have been plenty of managerial links to Manchester United since they lost 5-0 at home to Liverpool.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is under pressure. Some believe the game is up for him at Old Trafford.
The MEN understands that United were considering sacking Solskjaer, but haven't due to a lack of succession plan. So, he will remain in charge for the upcoming game against Tottenham. Antonio Conte would be open to the role, but some inside the club have reservations.
What's the solution if Solskjaer was sacked? United have trodden down the path of hiring managers who've worked well at one of their rivals. They need to try something new.
My preference is Erik ten Hag. Ajax's manager has an outstanding reputation in Europe and his team have been sensational this season. I'm going to tell you exactly why he's the perfect manager for Manchester United.
A smart tactician
Ten Hag likes to focus on spaces. That's how he cuts past teams and does so by reversing his in-game tactics.
Ajax line-up in a 4-3-3 system, but in-game, this reverts to a 3-4-3, which covers all the important areas of the field.
With United's current squad, this would work exceptionally well. The team have leaked 11 goals in their last three matches and reverting to a 3-4-3 in-game would mean Ten Hag could use three of United's central defenders, as well as the likes of Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho on the wings.
So far this season, Ajax haven't lost a match, scored 48 goals and conceded just three times. They also just thumped Borussia Dortmund 4-0 in the Champions League and PSV 5-0 in the Eredivisie to top the league and their group.
An ability to create winning teams
United have missed this since Sir Alex Ferguson retired. They haven't been able to freshen up squads..
Ten Hag has already shown that he can recreate title-winning teams. In 2019, when he got to the Champions League semi-final, he had the likes of Frenkie de Jong, Matthijs de Ligt and Hakim Ziyech. Unfortunately for Ten Hag, they all left the club.
He didn't give up. He recreated a team that's as fluid as the one he created before. This time, it boasts the likes of Ryan Gravenberch, Antony, Sebastian Haller and Lisandro Martinez. At the moment, they look unstoppable.
United need someone who can easily recreate title-winning teams and Ten Hag has certainly proven he can do that.
Trust in youth
Erik ten Hag has always given youth a chance, whether that be Frenkie de Jong, David Neres or Arjany Martha. However, he's always ensured the younger players have been surrounded by experienced players, like Daley Blind, Dusan Tadic, or Steven Berguis.
Ten Hag played a key role in the development of players like Memphis Depay at PSV, and Marko Arnautovic at FC Twente.
He transformed Depay from a central midfielder to a wide position, with the coach's focus constantly on attacking and attractive football.
Sound familiar? Yes, Sir Alex used to do this. He needed a balance and that's exactly what Ten Hag aims for. The result? Well, like Sir Alex, it's been effective in winning titles.
With United's academy players showing serious potential, Ten Hag could unlock their true ability at the senior level.
The winning mentality picked up from Guardiola
Before Ten Hag began his senior managerial career, he was the head coach of Bayern Munich II, where he worked closely with then manager, Pep Guardiola. Ten Hag learnt how to win and adapt under his guidance.
When asked in 2019 who inspires him, Ten Hag said: "Guardiola's philosophy is sensational. He has demonstrated this at Barcelona, Bayern and Man City.
"Guardiola is an innovator and inspiration. We want to win by playing well.
"His structured attacking play is very attractive and I aim to implement this at Ajax."
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He's definitely learnt something from him because since he's been at Ajax, he's won two Eredivisie titles, two KNVB Cups and got to a Champions League semi-final on a net spend of around +£13million. That's sensational.
Out of the 181 games he's managed in Amsterdam, he's won 133.
United could certainly do with this winning mentality. A battle between him and Pep in Manchester? Yes please!
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