Manchester United chief John Murtough explains why Erik ten Hag beat Mauricio Pochettino to Old Trafford job

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Manchester United chief John Murtough explains why Erik ten Hag beat Mauricio Pochettino to Old Trafford job
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Erik ten Hag beat Mauricio Pochettino to the Manchester United job because he “most closely aligned with the identity” of the club.

United’s football director, John Murtough, has opened up on the decision to appoint the Dutchman, who saw off competition from a host of Europe’s top managers to land the role.

It is understood that Pochettino was his closest rival to take charge, with the Argentine also keen on a move to Old Trafford. But United opted for former Ajax boss Ten Hag, who was officially unveiled this week.

During detailed talks, Murtough revealed the new manager laid out a “long-term vision to build a successful, exciting team,” with “clarity and confidence.”

He also described him as a “proven winner,” adding: “He showed passion, energy and enthusiasm for the challenge.”

Ten Hag has been charged with the responsibility of returning United to the summit of English football after nearly a decade of failure since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013.

He has appointed Mitchell van der Gaag and Steve McClaren as his assistant coaches, with United also making a series of changes behind the scenes in a bid to overhaul their recruitment strategy.

There are also plans to redevelop the training ground, with Murtough adding: “It’s all about making sure we are creating the right environment and culture in which players can perform to their maximum potential.”

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