Ten Hag paying the Glazers price, first fixture ahead, and Bissouma: The Treble column
Welcome to a new column on United In Focus, aptly named The Treble, consisting of three separate topics and opinions relating to Manchester United...
Ten Hag is paying the Glazers price
“Erik ten Hag is the manager of a club no top player wants to sign for”, was the headline in a column from Dutch magazine Voetball International this week.
This came after Ryan Gravenberch’s comments he had turned United down, following a high profile transfer miss on Darwin Nunez, while United did not even get into the race for Aurelien Tchouameni or Erling Haaland, two players the club would love to sign.
The Frenkie de Jong saga is dragging on and on, with United still looking for Ten Hag’s first signing.
It’s a little humiliating for such a big club as United to be in this position, but let’s get it right, none of this is Ten Hag’s fault – he is paying the price for years of mismanagement.
Former CEO Ed Woodward is the man supporters blame for the club’s current mess, but he’s gone now, so attention must turn to the owners who kept him in the job for so long, and would still have him in charge if he had not resigned.
United’s share price is slumping. The Athletic report it is at it’s lowest point for 10 years. With no Champions League football on offer next season, there are no quick fixes.
Ten Hag can turn United around, but he will have to do it the hard way, and as long as the Glazers remain in charge, the task will remain difficult.
Fixture list set to be revealed
This time tomorrow we will know Manchester United’s fixtures for the 2022/23 season, and Erik ten Hag’s first Premier League game will be set.
A home game to kick off the season would be ideal. Remember the pretty perfect 5-1 win over Leeds last season, where Raphael Varane was unveiled before the game, with Bruno Fernandes scoring a hat-trick.
The season was all downhill from there, but we can only wish for Ten Hag to have the same kind of start.
If I had to guess, I’d predict we kick off with an away game, we are due. United have opened at home for the last four seasons, against Leicester, Chelsea, Palace, and then Leeds. This luck has to run out.
The 2020/21 season was actually supposed to kick off away, before the Burnley game was re-arranged.
United’s season ended with a run of away defeats, the last win was at Leeds in February, so it would be an immediate test for Ten Hag if he is tasked with turning this around from week one.
Bissouma is not the transfer miss to get annoyed about
A year ago if Manchester United had missed out on Yves Bissouma for £25 million, I’d have been angry with the club’s incompetence.
The past 12 months have truly shown United to be more incompetent than ever, but when it comes to Bissouma’s move to Tottenham, I’d cut them some slack.
This is one transfer move we shouldn’t be annoyed about. Bissouma is a top talent, and £25 million is a bargain. And there’s also very good reason United are not going near him.
Bissouma remains on bail after he was arrested in October and, although innocent until proven guilty, with Mason Greenwood’s arrest still casting a cloud over United the club could have found itself in another PR nightmare after signing Bissouma. It’s not worth it.
Get annoyed about one of the other dozen midfielders Manchester United have failed to sign. There are plenty, take your pick.