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Fixation with having Alex Ferguson involved means shadow of past is blurring lines of Man United's new future

Vincent Hogan


Erik ten Hag’s efforts to modernise the football philosophy at Old Trafford is struggling to escape a Cristiano Ronaldo soap-opera and the club’s fixation with its former manager

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Erik ten Hag: Facing a hugely tricky first season. Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

Erik ten Hag: Facing a hugely tricky first season. Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

Manchester United have an unhealthy obsession with the club's past by still involving Alex Ferguson. Photo: PA

Manchester United have an unhealthy obsession with the club's past by still involving Alex Ferguson. Photo: PA

Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo

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Erik ten Hag: Facing a hugely tricky first season. Photo by Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images

When Erik ten Hag was a young player with SV Bonboys and then at the FC Twente academy, he had the reputation of an irritating boy, someone forever answering back.

Coaches sometimes mistook his curiosity for a weapon of sarcasm, imagining that no player his age could be so serious about their football. But they were wrong. Even in his early teens, Ten Hag was obsessive about the game.


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