Erik Ten Hag has already failed first Sir Alex Ferguson test ahead of Man Utd move

Man Utd fans set off flares as they protest against the Glazers

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Ajax were beaten 2-1 in the KNBV Cup final by PSV Eindhoven on Sunday in a defeat that will certainly worry Manchester United fans. The club’s manager Erik ten Hag, soon to be of the Red Devils, made several big changes that go against the rule of Sir Alex Ferguson.

When Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked in November, the higher powers at United took the decision to take a slow and steady approach to find a replacement. Ralf Rangnick was a short-term placeholder for a long-term replacement.

Therefore, with such a wait, the club are banking on Ten Hag bringing success back to Old Trafford. However, he went against the rules of Ferguson in Ajax’s cup final by dropping stars Sebastien Haller and Andre Onana for the match.

Earlier this season after Solskjaer dropped Cristiano Ronaldo, Ferguson was captured saying ‘you should always start with your best players,’ in conversation with former UFC star Khabib Nurmagomedov – who supports United. Onana and Haller most definitely fall into that bracket at Ajax.

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Since arriving in the Eredivisie from West Ham, Haller has been in flying form and scored 20 and assisted seven in 26 league appearances. So Ten Hag’s decision to play loanee Brian Bobbey – who has made six appearances so far this season – certainly raised eyebrows, especially as Haller was then called upon in the 72nd minute to try and rescue the result.

Onana was cut from the entire squad completely, with former Everton shot-stopper Maarten Stekelenburg the preferred option. The 39-year-old has made three Eredivisie appearances this season but has hardly even made the matchday squad for the club when he hasn’t started, making his inclusion equally as astounding.


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Ten Hag didn’t comment on his decision to drop Onana and Haller for the crucial match, but it will certainly send alarm bells to the Theatre of Dreams. The 52-year-old is set to inherit a star-studded squad in the summer, but morale and tactics have let the team down as a collective.

With a dressing room full of big personalities – who reportedly haven’t been afraid of sharing their views previously – it will be a big ask for Ten Hag to manage those characters. Taking the decision to drop some of the better players at United, arguably, like Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes, etc, will certainly cause an uproar.

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