EPL

Manchester United confirm Ten Hag appointment

By Sports Desk April 21, 2022

Manchester United have confirmed that Erik ten Hag will take over as their new manager at the end of the season.

After months of speculation, the 52-year-old Ajax boss will succeed Ralf Rangnick in the Old Trafford hotseat at the end of a frustrating campaign for the Red Devils.

With Rangnick moving upstairs to take on a consultancy role at the club, Ten Hag has agreed a contract until June 2025, with the option of a further year.

Ten Hag, who will take charge subject to being issued with a visa, told United's official website: "It is a great honour to be appointed manager of Manchester United and I am hugely excited by the challenge ahead. 

"I know the history of this great club and the passion of the fans, and I am absolutely determined to develop a team capable of delivering the success they deserve.

"It will be difficult to leave Ajax after these incredible years, and I can assure our fans of my complete commitment and focus on bringing this season to a successful conclusion before I move to Manchester United."

Ten Hag has won two Eredivisie titles and the KNVB Cup twice since joining Ajax in 2017, and will hope to bow out after securing a third league crown in the coming weeks, with the Amsterdam giants leading second-placed PSV by four points.

Meanwhile, the Red Devils' season hit a new low this week when they were thrashed 4-0 by Liverpool in the Premier League at Anfield, leaving their chances of qualifying for next season's Champions League looking slim.

United will have endured five seasons without lifting a major trophy by the time Ten Hag starts work.

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    Though disappointed by their hefty defeat to Chile in their opening friendly contest, interim Head coach Xavier Gilbert maintain that his youthful senior Reggae Girlz outfit will learn from the setback, as he anticipates an improved performance in the second encounter on Tuesday.

    In fact, Gilbert is confident that the more his new-look team plays, the better the performances will be, as they continue to introduce and expose players to the senior programme, mainly due to the current standoff between the World Cup players and the Jamaica Football Federation (JFF).

    The Chileans through goals from Michelle Olivares (12th), Maria Jose Urrutia (22nd), Yestin Jimenez (61st), Yenny Acuna (70th) and Paloma Duarte (88th), outclassed their Jamaican counterparts at the Juan Pinto Duran Stadium in Chile on Friday. Chinyelu Asher (77th) with her seventh international goal, pulled one back for the Jamaicans.

    “I don’t think we were good enough to be honest, we started off really shaky and allowed them too much space to play despite what we said we wanted to achieve and how we wanted to approach the game. We were a little bit tentative on the back foot and they exploited those areas that we left opened,” Gilbert told SportsMax.TV.

    “We were much better in the second half, so we will look to build on that because it is a learning process, and so we will see how best we can carry that momentum over into the next game,” he added.

    Along with the lack of preparation heading into the games, Gilbert pointed out that niggling injuries also marred their performance, as a number of the college players are just getting back into season, while former Liverpool midfielder Jade Bailey is still gradually working her way back from a knee surgery.

    “It was difficult because some players are recovering from injury and some college players are just heading back into season, but it is what we have to work with, and we just have to put a better showing in the next game. The more we play oppositions like these, the better we will get. As I said before, this is new for a lot of them on the international stage, so the more we play, the more competitive we will be,” Gilbert reasoned.

    Still, with the next game scheduled for Tuesday, the veteran tactician is keen on using the remaining time in Chile to work on certain aspects of the team’s game, with hopes of conducting more intensive work when they next assemble for the April window.

    “But for now we are just going to recover and assess the game, look at where we went wrong and improve some things that we could have done better. There are some areas that needs more work than what we will be able to fix here, but we are going to ensure we have good defensive organisation,” Gilbert declared.

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  • Marco Silva says Fulham were worthy of their Old Trafford win Marco Silva says Fulham were worthy of their Old Trafford win

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    Fulham’s success punctured some of the optimism that has swept into Old Trafford this week following the completion of Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s partial takeover.

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    The Dutchman said: “After these two months I can’t go with that approach. We have gone lately very good but now we have some setbacks.

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    Alex Iwobi struck a dramatic stoppage-time winner as Fulham snatched a rare 2-1 win at Manchester United in the Premier League on Saturday.

    The former Everton and Arsenal midfielder finished off a counter-attack in the seventh minute of time added on moments after Harry Maguire looked to have salvaged a point for United.

    Maguire had pounced on a rebound in the 89th minute, cancelling out a 65th-minute strike from Fulham’s Calvin Bassey.

    United looked to be finishing the stronger as they pushed for a late winner but they were caught out by Iwobi, who secured his side’s first victory at Old Trafford since 2003.

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    United were slow to get going and Fulham, despite the absence of the influential Joao Palhinha through suspension, made most the running.

    Andreas Pereira had their first opportunity with a weak effort which was easily dealt with by Andre Onana before Iwobi failed to make clean contact with another chance from the edge of the area.

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    Diogo Dalot went even closer with a long-range effort which beat Bernd Leno but clipped the outside of the post.

    Fulham responded well and hit the woodwork themselves moments later as Muniz turned Victor Lindelof in the area and thumped a shot against the upright.

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    Fulham raced upfield and fed Pereira, but his curling attempt was pushed away by Onana.

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    United suffered a blow early in the second half when Casemiro was forced off after clash of heads with Harrison Reed while manager Erik Ten Hag also removed youngster Omari Forson after a quiet full debut.

    Scott McTominay and Christian Eriksen were sent on to increase the energy levels but it was Fulham who continued to dictate the pace.

    Reed almost found the net when his cross-cum-shot had to be palmed over by Onana.

    They capitalised from the resulting set-piece as Pereira’s cross found Bassey, and he rifled his first goal for the club into the roof of the net after his initial volley was blocked.

    Fulham threatened more with Reed firing narrowly over and Harry Wilson bending a chance just wide.

    United roused themselves late on and Maguire reacted quickly after a Bruno Fernandes shot was saved but Iwobi had the final say.

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