Manchester United finally ended their six-year wait for silverware as they overcame Newcastle United 2-0 in the final of the Carabao Cup at Wembley on Sunday.
It was a glorious occasion for fans and players as they took an important step towards bringing back the club’s lost glory.
Erik ten Hag deserves plaudits for changing the fortunes of the club in such a short span of time. It is hard to imagine that this team contains so many players from last season who could not be bothered to put in a 100 percent in games.
ETH has got an iron grip over the club
The former Ajax coach got the loudest cheer from fans when he lifted the trophy and was spotted celebrating with the legendary Sir Alex Ferguson and he was even invited to give a victory speech in the dressing room.
The former United manager was asked by Sky Sports at the end of the game about how the Dutchman has managed to improve the squad in such a short span of time.
🗣️ “I don’t think he’s a striker. He operates from the left side. His finishing is always good. Unfortunately for us he’s the main source of goals, we could do with an extra one.”
Sir Alex Ferguson says Marcus Rashford isn’t a striker and Manchester United need another one. 💪 pic.twitter.com/hCNL5PQsFq
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) February 27, 2023
“United is based on success and he’s gone the right way about it. His signings have been really good – I think that was important – and he’s got a grip of the club which is really big for him.
“You come to United and you try to get off to a good start right away. He’s done really well, he really has.”
Ten Hag has been known to be a stickler for discipline and players like Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, Alejandro Garnacho and a certain Cristiano Ronaldo have all borne the brunt of the manager’s ire at times this season.
And he is also known to be a control freak and likes to keep a track of the minutest details and that was on display prior to the game as he forced the players to ditch their designer suits in favour of the training gear.
Rashford not a natural striker, United need an elite No 9
That has not always been the case at times at the club in the recent past with sponsorship activities and player power rampant in the seasons gone by, often at the detriment of the manager.
The legendary Scot was also asked about the form being shown by the club’s top-scorer Rashford. The Mancunian scored United’s second and his 25th of the season on Sunday.
While praising the England international, Sir Alex also emphasised that Rashford is not a natural No 9 and that United need to bring in someone of that calibre if they are to continue going upwards.
“I don’t think he’s a striker. He operates away from the left hand side. But he’s fantastic. His finishing is always good and he always keeps his shots down which is really important for a striker.
“He’s in a great vein of form. Unfortunately for us, he’s the main source of goals, we could do with an extra one. But he is doing it.”
It is extraordinary to think that Ten Hag is getting these impressive results with Wout Weghorst not known as a prolific striker while Anthony Martial remains perennially sidelined due to injury. Squad depth remains a huge issue.
This is exactly why the club and Ten Hag are trying to rectify the situation ahead of next season as they seek an elite goalscorer with the likes of Harry Kane, Victor Osimhen, Dusan Vlahovic and Benjamin Sesko‘s names doing the rounds.
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