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Latest Winning Identity News
Apr 15, 2022
I am a business journalist covering European soccer and stadiums. Apr 15, 2022, Ajax's Dutch coach Erik ten Hag talks to journalists during the Toto KNVB Cup Press Conference prior ... [+] to the cup final against PSV Eindhoven at the Johan Cruyff Arena in Amsterdam on April 15, 2022. - Ajax's Dutch coach Erik ten Hag is strongly rumoured to be next man tasked with reviving United as a title contender after years of disappointment. - Netherlands OUT (Photo by Koen van Weel / ANP / AFP) / Netherlands OUT (Photo by KOEN VAN WEEL/ANP/AFP via Getty Images) ANP/AFP via Getty Images Hope for Manchester United will soon lie in the form of Ajax manager Erik ten Hag. The announcement is not yet official, but the writing is on the wall, and the 52-year-old Dutchmen is poised to take up the Old Trafford hot seat. Remarkably, for a club that has tried everything since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson, nearly a decade ago, ten Hag represents something new; a rising star with an impressive CV. Since the legendary Scot left, United has tried established names with impressive trophy hauls, such as Jose Mourinho and Louis Van Gaal. It’s also experimented with candidates who had the ‘potential for success’, but didn’t have the records to back it up, like David Moyes and Ole Gunnar Solkesjaer. This new manager has both, a decent number of league titles under his belt and the accolade of creating the best European Ajax team since the 1990s. He’s fresh, at the cutting edge of the game and, most importantly, a man who relies on tactical systems, not individuals, something that has been a persistent criticism of the Mancunians. However, after ten years of false dawns, United fans could be forgiven for not yet believing ten Hag is the person to bring the glory days back. A section of support is going a step further, saying it won’t distract them from their ultimate goal of changing the ownership. Protests are planned for this weekend’s game against Norwich City and fan group The 1958 has called for “flares banners and voices” in the anti-Glazer action. MORE FOR YOU “A new manager won't suppress us. Red White & Black till we get our club back. Relentless,” it tweeted ahead of the game. On Friday, a group of fans traveled to the training ground to express their displeasure at the current state of affairs. They argue that the issues at the club run far deeper than the playing staff and malaise set in long ago; a slump that star signings and big-name managers have been unable to shift. It is a view somewhat echoed by ex-Manchester United right-back turned pundit Gary Neville in comments about the Dutchman’s impending appointment. "It won't just be as easy as appointing a talented, young manager or talented manager at all,” he said . "There needs to be something quite significant that shifts here so that everyone realizes it is a new project and it is a new beginning. That would more than likely be with new owners.” Realistic that is not going to happen, the former United stalwart is nonetheless convinced that more would need to change for success to arrive with the current regime. “I don't think they are going to gain success without doing something fundamental,” he continued. “It is not just going to be a case of bringing a new manager in, get a PR spike, get everyone excited and put [$196] million into the team. "We will end up in the same position again in two or three years.” Neville added that he believed since Ferguson left the club in 2013, it had been stuck in a “rut,” one that had “found out” even great managers. “I spoke about a cultural reset and if the top isn't right - and I have to say the top is not right here - there has to be a real shift in mentality,” he explained. But is Neville’s argument about intangibles justified? Is it things like attitudes that need to change? Solksjaer and the ‘winning identity’ BURNLEY, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 28: Manchester United manager Ole Gunnar Solksjaer looks on during the ... [+] Premier League match between Burnley FC and Manchester United at Turf Moor on December 28, 2019 in Burnley, United Kingdom. (Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images) Getty Images Few people know Manchester United better than Gary Neville, but it’s hard not to feel like we’ve been here before. The appointment of Ole Gunnar Solksjaer was touted as a way for the club to regain what was lost since Ferguson left. He said so himself pretty much from the moment he was confirmed as the permanent boss. In an exclusive interview with Sky Sports, the Norwegian explained that he was better prepared for the United job than he had been for a failed stint at Cardiff City because he had a deeper understanding of the club. ”It is easier here because I know what the DNA and identity of Manchester United is and what a Manchester United player is,” he told the broadcaster . When pushed on exactly what he meant the answer was simple: "It’s a winning identity […]It’s a confident identity. We want to take risks. We want to go for the second, the third and the fourth goal because that’s just how we do things at Manchester United. If you can’t handle that then you are at the wrong club.” In theory, the “winning identity” sounded great, it was reminiscent of the “no-excuses culture” another former Ferguson player, Mark Hughes, used to discuss implementing at Manchester City or the “winning culture” Jose Mourinho was supposed to bring to Tottenham Hotspur . However, all those managerial projects ultimately failed because the teams didn’t deliver. They represent just a handful of examples that show the proof of any ‘culture' is in the results. The criticism of the Glazers’ regime’s intangibles is frequently linked to the huge sums they, and the club, have earned whilst success on the pitch has waned. Revenue and profits, before Covid-19 hit, had been on a comfortable upward trajectory despite the club repeatedly missing out on the Champions League and seriously losing its way without Ferguson. But creating the conditions for sporting success is often far more complex than what might be going on inside an owner's head. It’s too questionable whether responsibility for not reinstating the “winning identity” the Scottish manager presided over at the club lies only with the owners. And then there’s the element of luck. The man who brought Alex Ferguson to the club in the 1980s, Martin Edwards, spent most of his first ten years in charge trying desperately to re-establish the side a the very top of the English game. It was only his decision to take a risk on Scottish soccer’s brightest new manager and persistence in sticking with him that eventually turned things around. More recently, Liverpool’s transformation from Premier League nearly-men to regular title contenders is often lauded as a triumph of a scientific strategy, however, it owes a lot to Jurgen Klopp being able to transform the well-regarded, but not exactly elite at the time, talents of Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah into world-beaters. Neither of those triumphs was a result of boardroom mentality, they were calculated acts of risk that paid off. Even in regimes where the owner’s demand for perennial success was unquestionable, like Roman Abramovich’s at Chelsea, the insistence on winning has meant managers were often sacked in a way that destabilized the club and, arguably, hindered its ability to maintain dominance. Maybe Gary Neville is right and there is a culture at the club which is stopping it from being successful, it’s just impossible to prove either way. Should Erik ten Hag transform Manchester United back into a winning machine, I’m sure we’ll find the intangible barriers that have been blocking the club for the past decade have suddenly disappeared.
Winning Identity Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Where is Winning Identity's headquarters?
Winning Identity's headquarters is located at Toronto.
What is Winning Identity's latest funding round?
Winning Identity's latest funding round is Acquired.
Who are the investors of Winning Identity?
Investors of Winning Identity include Blast Motion and Stadia Accelerator.
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