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A number of people had doubts about Erik ten Hag's ability to manage people, but he has been able to disprove those people's assumptions this season.
Erik ten Hag attended Selhurst Park to watch Manchester United's match against Crystal Palace on the final day of the previous season. The game was played at Selhurst Park.
After the final buzzer sounded, a Sky Sports reporter was just as eager to speak to the Ten Hag as the young fans were to catch a glimpse of him when he arrived at the stadium. After the game, the reporter followed Ten Hag into the parking lot, where security warned him to maintain a safe distance from the player. He was annoyed by the situation and told Erik, "It doesn't look good that you're being manhandled by security."
After that, the reporter went on social media and posted a picture of himself with Louis van Gaal from 2014, when Van Gaal was appointed as the manager of the Netherlands national team at Old Trafford. The purpose of the post was to demonstrate to Ten Hag "how Manchester United's manager ought to behave."
Even though the social media post directed at Ten Hag was inappropriate, some people online defended the reporter and argued that it wasn't much of an ask for Ten Hag to give a few words in response. This prompted people to speculate about the kind of person the Dutchman is.
The journalists in Amsterdam who covered Ten Hag's time in Ajax had warned the media prior to his arrival at Old Trafford that he was quiet and introverted in his press conferences. This led some people to believe that he would find it difficult to build relationships with his new players. However, he has been able to do so successfully.
During the official unveiling press conference, Ten Hag wasted no time in putting those concerns to rest. That day, he greeted the dedicated correspondents across the front row with handshakes, and he made a charismatic first impression, despite being straight-talking, direct, and blunt. The press room was helped to create a warm atmosphere by Dutch waffles and bottles of Heineken.
Since then, Ten Hag has continued to be succinct in his press conferences and has continued to make a strong impression across his first five months in Manchester. This is due to the fact that his style has been refreshing and, more importantly, he is getting the best out of his players.
In late August, supporters voiced their approval of how he handled his most recent encounter with the Sky Sports reporter who tried to speak to him at Selhurst Park. The reporter had attempted to speak to him there. At Ten Hag's pre-Southampton press conference, the reporter attempted to ask him a question, but his question was overlooked, and another reporter from the BBC was given the opportunity to ask the manager a question instead.
According to the Manchester Evening News's understanding, United were unhappy with the Sky Sports reporter for door-stepping Ten Hag at Ajax's training ground earlier this year. They were also unhappy with the timing of a tweet the reporter sent shortly after the 4-0 loss to Brentford. The Manchester Evening News has this information.
The word "karma" was included in the tweet, and it was followed by an emoji of a person with a smug face. Ten Hag's tweet that appeared to take pleasure in United's loss made him less inclined to accept a question from the reporter, and the fact that he ignored the reporter's inquiry was well received by United fans.
In light of the newly discovered evidence, the individuals who argued in favor of the reporter at Selhurst Park became noticeably more subdued. However, the response that was provided by the players is the one that truly matters, and this is true despite the opinions of the journalists and supporters regarding his character.
In spite of recent setbacks against Brighton and Brentford, United have made significant headway with Ten Hag at the helm. Concerns regarding the likelihood that the team's locker room would react favorably to his authoritarian approach to man management have been put to rest.
United have been impressive since their poor start, with the exception of their loss in the Manchester derby. Glimmers of Ten Hag's philosophy have become increasingly sustained, while his summer signings have become fan favorites. The only loss United has suffered since their poor start was in the Manchester derby.
In addition to this, Ten Hag has been successful in motivating the players he inherited to improve their play, which is a sign of a good manager. The team has shown a positive response to the increased level of discipline that he has instilled, and it is instructive that the players have adopted the buzzwords "togetherness" and "spirit."
John Murtough, who was in charge of football operations and was the one who was responsible for hiring Ten Hag, would not have had any reservations about Ten Hag's strategic acumen. However, privately, Murtough may have been concerned about Ten Hag's personality and his capacity to connect with players.
This season, Ten Hag is proving those concerns wrong, and he deserves to be lauded for his man-management, especially considering that his rebuild could have easily been derailed by Cristiano Ronaldo, who has been difficult to handle throughout the campaign. Ten Hag is proving those concerns wrong this season.
Ten Hag's handling of the player has otherwise been masterful, and his management of the striker has demonstrated that he has what it takes to manage a club of United's size and scope. Although making Ronaldo captain against Aston Villa was a questionable decision, Ten Hag's handling of the player has otherwise been masterful.
The fact that Ten Hag's CV includes Go Ahead Eagles, Bayern Munich II, Utrecht, and Ajax indicates that this was by no means a foregone conclusion.
The beginning of his tenure has gotten off to an admirable start.
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