Can Erik ten Hag banish Manchester United’s Ralf Rangnick nightmare?

Erik ten Hag Man Utd AjaxGetty Images
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Manchester United have been in choppy waters this season and that has been in part down to Ralf Rangnick. The German tactician has been unable to transform a Red Devils side that has clear fissures running through it.

Standards have slipped and, ever since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013, United have been trying to regain their identity and discover the pizzazz that saw them dominate English football in the 1990s and the first half of the 2000s.

Many have tried to fill Ferguson’s shoes, but many have come up short. Just ask the likes of David Moyes and Louis van Gaal, who incurred the wrath of the fans when they were in the Old Trafford dugout.

Rangnick, meanwhile, was appointed on a temporary basis after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked earlier in the campaign following a woeful run of results, including a 4-1 thrashing at the hands of Watford which proved to be the death knell.

This term, Harry Maguire has been lampooned for his comical defending. The only players that have really shone are David de Gea, who has made countless vital saves, while Cristiano Ronaldo has proved he still has a lot to offer, and he has weighed in with some vital goals.

United just have to find a way to get to the end of the campaign and they are in an uphill battle to salvage a top-four spot, and with it, a coveted Champions League place next season. The race for the top four will go right down to the wire. But as far as the bookmakers are concerned, they appear to have given up on United, who have drifted in the top-four odds. Most recently, United were trading at a rather long looking 14/1 with BetMGM, a top sportsbook and one of the best online casinos.

Indeed, players will be spoilt for choice and the casino arm of the operation offers plenty of payment methods for making deposits and withdrawals.

With United, they are still very much a work in progress. However, the fans will be hoping for an upturn in fortunes, especially as they have appointed Erik ten Hag as Rangnick’s long-term successor, and he has been handed a three-year deal.

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Ten Hag performed wonders at Ajax on a much smaller budget, and he enjoyed a league and cup double in 2018-19 and 2020-21. Ten Hag also came within a whisker of guiding the Dutch outfit to the Champions League final, but they came up agonisingly short against Tottenham.

Rangnick is set to move upstairs and take up a board position. He may well be holding regular talks with Ten Hag and offer some advice on who the Red Devils should target in the summer transfer window. Ten Hag needs a lot of backing to overhaul a United side that desperately crave trophies.

For a side of United’s stature, to be so far off the pace in the Premier League this season and not challenge for trophies is very disconcerting. The onus is now on Ten Hag to turn things around, and perhaps he can banish the failed Rangnick experiment and inject some much-needed hope.