Saturday’s FA Cup Final clash at Wembley did not go entirely to plan for Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag, as ultimately we lost our 2-1 to our City rivals, but once that disappointment has been put aside by supporters of the Red Devil’s, the vast majority of fans will continue to appreciate all the hard work that has been put in by our Dutch gaffer this season, and the improvements that have already been put in place in readiness for what we all hope will be further improvement in the coming 2023/24 campaign.
It was a tricky summer for Ten Hag and he had plenty to sort out, and then our plans were further disrupted by the first ever World Cup out in Qatar, not least the whole Cristiano Ronaldo saga he had to deal with, but despite all those distractions we still won 23 of our 38 domestic games to finish pretty comfortably in third place in the table, securing Champions League football once again and Football betting site Betway may well have wished they changed their odds on that happening at the beginning of the season.
During the build up to Saturday’s Final, former England and United striker Teddy Sheringham was in front of the press and he felt it had been a very impressive first season for the 53 year old, and although he is obviously his own man, Sheringham did see some similarities to Sir Alex Ferguson, and he certainly felt that former Real Madrid midfielder Casemiro was the closest United had got in a long time to having a player truly similar to Roy Keane in the middle of the park.
“He’s had a lot to deal with, with the Ronaldo situation, which he dealt with impeccably. He let Ronaldo shoot himself in the foot, stayed very quiet at the right times and has come out smelling of roses. But you’ve got to get results while that’s going on and he’s done that. He’s got one cup in the bag already and has qualified for the Champions League, which is no mean feat at the moment. I know there are a few teams that have slipped away a bit this season but it’s still a great achievement.”
As for his Keane and Casemiro comments, he added.
“I think Casemiro has been invaluable. You need somebody in central midfield that dictates the play, and he chips in a few goals as well. I know he’s had a couple of red cards, and that sets you back a bit, but he stamps his authority on a game and I think he’s been a revelation since he’s come in. Without a doubt. He’s not captain, but he leads by example. I wouldn’t put it past Ten Hag to give the captain’s armband to Casemiro next year. I know it’s drifted about, but I think Casemiro is the leader and he should be captain. He leads by example, the same way Roy Keane did.”
With another summer of investment, things could well get better at Old Trafford next season.