Manchester United fans have made a real statement to Erik ten Hag
Erik ten Hag will be in charge of Manchester United by this time next month as he looks to rebuild from the wreckage of not just this season, but the past eight years.
The good news for Ten Hag is that United is not a completely lost cause, with some talented players in the first team squad, and a thriving academy. The fans have made a real statement to show how important this is.
Last night United competed in the FA Youth Cup final, with more than 67,000 tickets sold for fans desperate to support the young guns.
The desire to see any team win a trophy, and displeasure with the first team were a factor in the sales, as well as the rare home final and cheap tickets, but more than anything, this was a show of passion from Manchester United supporters towards the heart of the club.
Fans have made a real statement
Manchester United’s academy has been the heart of the club, even going back to pre-Busby days, and certainly under his management. From Busby’s Babes to Fergie’s Fledglings, the academy stars have been the lifeblood of the club, and it still goes on today.
This season Anthony Elanga has joined Marcus Rashford and Scott McTominay as a regular in the first team XI, with Dean Henderson on the bench, while Zidane Iqbal, Charlie Savage and Alejandro Garnacho have all made their first tram debuts.
Shola Shoretire, the club’s seventh youngest ever player, has also been on the bench along with Alvaro Fernandez, while Will Fish, Charlie Wellens, and Youth Cup stars Dan Gore and Sam Mather have trained with the Manchester United first team.
What we saw last night at Old Trafford with the Youth Cup final’s record attendance, was a fanbase embracing the club’s rich culture, and showing that even in a moment of first team strife, the club is as well supported as ever, and has a clear identity beyond simply competing at the top of the league.
United won the game 3-1, earning a record 11th FA Youth Cup with goals from Rhys Bennett and a brace from Alejandro Garnacho.
Ten Hag will love it
Erik ten Hag joins United from a club with a similarly rich history of youth development. The club even cited this as one of the reasons for his appointment.
Ajax are one of the few clubs around the world who have a track record on par with United’s in this area, and who could possibly match United in attendance for such a fixture.
Even so, the fans have made a real statement to Ten Hag, showing how much the Manchester United support care about the academy stars, and will back their development.
The new boss will love this, and will be even more encouraged to try and get the youngsters into the first team when the time is right.
Ten Hag handed 21 debuts to Ajax academy players during his four and a half seasons at the Eredivisie club, and many Manchester United talents will blossom under his management.
Seeing the support they have behind them will only encourage Ten Hag, and it will help show him that this is a club where he can really weave his magic, with so much untapped potential. The resources are there for him, with a fanbase desperate to support him.