Man Utd appoint Erik ten Hag and why this looks very much like the Sir Alex move 36 years ago five men out

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Erik ten Hag is appointed new manager of Man Utd. Hopefully they will get it right this time as the Dutch former central defender will take over from Ralf Rangnick and hopefully a new chapter can start at Old Trafford.

After spending his last five years with Ajax and developing new teams as they are used to at this club selling their best to bigger clubs in Europe.

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Duncan Edwards, The Greatest, Manchester United, England, the story of a star

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Duncan Edwards is by many described as the best footballer to be, and at his age he was something else, a bright future was in front of him but as we all know it all ended in a tragic disaster as the England international died in the Munich crash.

When the crash happened and we never got the opportunity to see Duncan Edwards on a football field again, he had at the age of 21 added up 18 caps and scored 5 goals for England, played a total of 151 EFL games for Manchester United and scored 20 goals.

His talent was something we seldom will see in football and the future looked fantastic, the left half would have been part of the England set up for the 1958 World Cup finals in Sweden, and the outfall could have been much different, and of course gone on to win more honours than his two league titles from 1956 and 1957 with Manchester United.

England did participate in the 1962 World Cup but at the age of 26, Duncan Edwards would have been at his very best and looking forward he could have gone on to play in both the 1966 and 1970 finals. Bobby Charlton was just a year younger than Duncan Edwards and came through the ranks at Manchester United at the same time. The two also did military service together in the area of Shrewsbury.

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Duncan Edwards, was described as a rock in open sea and a player that could operate in midfield and of course in the centre of a back three. He made his England debut at the age of 18 and when making his first team debut with MU, at the age of 16, becoming the youngest player in the top flight ever.

A teetotal as we would probably have liked every sports man to be and of course leading by example and being a grand role model for his generation, being that proper and solid rock as described, and of course a key player in the Sir Matt Busby set up. Bill Foulkes and Paddy Crerand did get their shots instead as they covered the positions we would surely had seen Duncan Edwards operating in, getting that great generation of players coming up and establishing Manchester United again as a giant in European and domestic football during the 60’s.

Duncan Edwards had a leading role in the England team and played in all four of the qualification games for the 1958 World Cup, scored two goals in the 5-2 hammering for Denmark in Copenhagen, often said to be the clear alternative to follow Billy Wright as captain of England.

History and destiny tells a different story as we again did see a great athlete and massive footballer leave us with his best years in front and leaving a big hole of grief behind.

But as we are asking the questions, what if? and why? his place was there to be filled both for club and country as other players stepped forward and made the most of their football careers.

Manchester United were close to win The Double with Duncan Edwards in the team and he was part of the run with the club raching the 1957 FA Cup final, but had to see defeat against Aston Villa, losing 2-1.

A sad story and a tragic outfall is of course the close picture of his life, but indeed giving inspiration and hope for other players as English football reached it’s peak in the 60’s with both Manchester United and England making history on the path that was there to walk for other players making their club and nation proud.

Duncan Edwards, The Greatest


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Cristiano Ronaldo from Sporting to Man Utd and back

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The route to Manchester United for Ronaldo’s first spell at Old Trafford was not written in stone as he had offers from other clubs and one keen admirer was Arsene Wenger who were close to get his signature, but instead of joining Arsenal he chose Man Utd after convincing Sir Alex with an impressive display in a game against them, winning 3-1.

Romanian manager at the time, Laszlo Boloni, was the man who gave Cristiano Ronaldo the debut in the senior first team after being impressed by the dribbling capacity of the teenager. Boloni was a previous player at Steaua Bucuresti and a winner of the European Cup, and to complete the presentation, a Romania international with 102 caps in total.

While Ronaldo has been around in European football Boloni has also done his moves and had his last management experience with Panathinaikos, been in charge of the Greek giants from 2020 to 2021.

Ronaldo, a teenager at the time made the most out of his friendly v. Man Utd and the rest is history. He signed for Sir Alex and when his time was up, he moved on, to join Real Madrid.

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Sir Alex and Laszlo Boloni was the two managers to be part of those first years, and not much change as the two influenced a career that continued at Real Madrid. The fact that Real Madrid only managed to win La Liga Primera just two times during the days of Ronaldo, did see a lot of great names of management taking charge.

The man in charge when Cristiano Ronaldo arrived was Manuel Pellegrini, but it was no doubt that Florentino Perez was the man in charge of the move valued to £80million and really a bargain buy looking at it all in the back mirror.

Manuel Pellegrini left the club after that first season and the new man in was Jose Mourinho. Mourinho stayed for three years with Carlo Ancelotti taking over. Rafael Benitez was next and after him Zinedine Zidane had his time in charge. He had left by the time Ronaldo made his move to Juventus, with a certain Spanish head coach being announced as their next manager just before the start of the World Cup, which did see Julen Lopetegui sacked from his post just in front of that vital tournament.

During his days at Juventus Massimiliano Allegri was the one in charge at this arrival, later it was Sarri and Pirlo who had their days in charge before Cristiano Ronaldo made his move back to Man Utd and is now for the first time in his career being managed by a former team mate in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

Despite being seen as a grand footballer and by many described as the best with a regime of pureness and disiplin that seldom is seen in this game. At the age of 36 he still performs at a level few in his age have done before him and it shows that attitude and hunger can keep you going all the way to the 40’s and further if you still want to play on.

Stanley Matthews and Peter Shilton are two former players who did the same and at the age of 36 still was performing at top level going long into their 40’s performing well, so it’s done before and can of course be copied and we believe Cristiano Ronaldo will be offered a job if he decides to play on into his late 40’s.

Football is a strange game and certainly for Cristiano Ronaldo the return to Man Utd have seen a start few would believe with three goals scored in his first two games, hopefully OGS will be lucky and keep his momentum both at home and out in Europe.

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