Ten Hag verdict speaks volumes as ‘genius’ backed to eclipse Sir Alex

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Thierry Henry has tipped Erik ten Hag’s play style to better Sir Alex Ferguson’s if his Manchester United tenure continues in the same trajectory. The Arsenal icon was left in awe of Ten Hag after Sunday’s 3-2 win against United, with his verdict speaking volumes about the coach.

Ten Hag has lifted the Red Devils from their ruins in just six months after inheriting a squad that had recorded the club’s worst-ever season in the Premier League era.

United have propelled from sixth-place certainties to third-place favourites, with some even tipping them as unlikely contenders in the title race.

Since a tumultuous first month in charge, Ten Hag has guided the Old Trafford giants to 17 wins and just three defeats in 23 games, producing a 74 per cent win rate.

And after watching them in action in north London on Sunday, Henry was left stunned by how far they had come in his short period at the helm.

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The Frenchman admitted he recommended Ten Hag to Barcelona after Ronald Koeman’s sacking, labelling him a ‘genius’.

He told CBS Sports: “I am happy that Arsenal won and – they deserved to win after their performance in the second half, but boy, Man United look completely different under Ten Hag.

“I will be honest, I am a big fan of Ten Hag, and I like him very much. He is the coach I recommended to Laporta after Koeman got sacked at Barca. He is a genius.

“Today, we saw a team with three years of development against a team with six months of development, also a team with one week of rest against a team with two days of rest.

“Yet still, Man United went toe-to-toe, which for me was surprising. I thought Arsenal would be all over United from the kick-off and United players would sit back, but I was wrong.

“United, in fact, had better control of the ball in the first half. [If] you give one more year to Ten Hag and back him in the market, United will be a force to reckon with.

“No disrespect to Sir Alex [Ferguson], but if Ten Hag gets it right at United, they will play more attractive football than they played under Sir Alex Ferguson.”

Ten Hag could end United’s six-year wait for silverware next month, with Nottingham Forest in the semi-finals and a final against Newcastle United or Southampton standing in their way of the EFL Cup.

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