A member of YouTube group Stretford Paddock believes Erik ten Hag couldn’t have done a better job so far as manager of Manchester United.
Ahead of the Old Trafford club’s Carabao Cup semi-final second-leg tie – in which they hold a 3-0 lead over Nottingham Forest – Jordan Simpson has given his thoughts on what winning a trophy would do for the Dutchman in his first season at the helm.
“It would give us a lot of confidence because six years without a trophy is a very long time when you think about our rivals that are winning countless trophies like it’s nothing.
“We seem to be so far behind the pack and even the Europa League we won in 2017 was significant for getting us in the Champions League but when you compare it to [Manchester] City winning back-to-back titles and Liverpool winning the Champions League in that similar time frame.
“We’ve already seen a culture change within six months and if you can help this group of players get over the line after basically the same group of players lost multiple semi-finals in two seasons, it’ll do the world of good.
“For Ten Hag it’ll be a great stepping stone to get to the bigger trophies that we really want to win.”
He added: “I don’t think Ten Hag could have done a better job.”
Erik ten Hag left his managerial role at Ajax in May to begin preparations at Manchester United a month after his appointment was announced.
After just over six months in the job, Simpson gave his overall assessment of how Ten Hag has performed.
“We know what Cristiano Ronaldo is to Manchester United but the fact he threw his dummy out and Ten Hag didn’t instil him back into the team, he dealt with him quickly and I commend him for that.
“Even Marcus Rashford, when he was late the other week, he’s in the form of his life and you’re thinking ‘no way, don’t drop him’ but he drops him for 45 minutes, he comes back and scores a goal.
“Luke Shaw even said a few weeks ago that he felt like the culture had changed and players aren’t getting away with what they used to.
“Imagine what was happening under Ole, under Rangnick, Carrick, Mourinho – what was going on?”
After buying United for around £790m in 2005, their owners, the Glazer family, announced their intentions to sell the club following initial rumours in November 2022.
While set to make billions of pounds in profit, the American conglomerate have endured a turbulent relationship with United fans, and Simpson didn’t hold back when asked about the Glazers’ stewardship.
“If we can get them out by the end of the season, great. We know what they’ve done to the football club, taking out dividends every three-to-six months, etc,” Simpson added.
“They’ve been sucking us dry for years.
“I’m not even sure they want to deal with us [the fans] and what we’re giving them anymore.
“They’ll probably get five billion, we’ll be happy under new ownership.”
On 17 January 2023, British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe confirmed his interest in United and revealed he had entered the bidding for the club, and while Simpson’s first choice to take over would be Ratcliffe, he warns it could come with its problems.
“I would prefer Jim Ratcliffe or another owner that we know a little bit more about, someone in the public eye.
“But Ratcliffe has gone in for Chelsea and failed, he tried to go in for United back when we weren’t even available and he owns Nice so does that mean we’d have a feeder club? What happens if we draw them in Europe?
“It would cause a lot of issues but at this moment in time, the focus is just getting the Glazers out.
“We’re not going to be short of interest, it’s just where that interest is coming from.”
Most Premier League managers aren’t expected to be majorly successful in their first season at a club, and while Simpson isn’t going over-the-top with his expectations, he believes United can still achieve their goals and beyond.
“It’s pretty easy: top four and a trophy.
“Getting top four, you get back into the Champions League, it’s good for money and it means we’re competing at a higher level.”