Ten Hag given dreadful Man Utd transfer ‘war chest’ and The Sun wish they were relevant again

Editor F365
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag reacts during the FA Cup final
Erik ten Hag should ignore Ratcliffe but listen to the Mirror

Erik ten Hag is destined to follow Sir Alex Ferguson as some ‘eerie similarities’ have emerged at Manchester United. And The Sun cannot let Baden-Baden go.


Where’s the streetwise Hercules to fight the risin’ odds?
Not sure anything sums up The Sun quite so effectively as assistant editor Clemmie Moodie writing an extensive ode to ‘the glory days of Baden-Baden’ in 2006, and how today’s generation of England ‘WAGs’ – Mediawatch has just been sick in its mouth – are ‘a bunch of camera-ready, media-wary young women’.

There is a palpable sense of disgust contained in those words. Why aren’t newspapers allowed to essentially harass a group of people for about a month and pass it off as news anymore? Why must these ‘young women’ be so ‘media-wary’? Bloody woke.

For a good few hundred words, Moodie regales us with stories about the lengths she went to relentlessly following around the partners of England players at the 2006 World Cup. And make no mistake, Victoria Beckham, Cheryl Tweedy, Coleen Rooney and the rest were absolutely ‘media-wary’ in the sense that they f***ing hated the media, especially at that time. They did not court the attention.

As the Daily Mail‘s Oliver Holt, once said, they “did very little apart from enjoy themselves in the way well-off young women would.”

Yet here we are, 18 years later, not only entirely incapable of leaving behind something which should have shamed newspapers at the time, but actively feeling nostalgic over it and lamenting how times have thankfully changed.

‘On the eve of the Euros, the question remains,’ Moodie writes. ‘Where have all the good Wags gone?’

Utterly risible stuff. Of all the English football media obsessions still rife in big 2024, this is surely the absolute dirt worst.

READ NEXTEngland and the ‘WAG-infested chaos’ that proves sexism is still rife in 2023


You’re on my heart just like a tattoo
Keep that question in mind when glancing at the back page of the newspaper for the biggest story of the day: man with lots of tattoos will get another one to celebrate massive life achievement if it happens.

Can someone’s wife please just have a meal at a restaurant or something? We need some actual news over here!

‘Ivan Toney wants to fire England to glory at Euro 2024 before getting a celebratory tattoo…on his head,’ writes Charlie Wyett, who probably didn’t tell the Brentford striker to cancel the open-top bus parade. Coward.

‘Toney, who has tattoos all over his body, was asked if he will get another one if England win the final in Berlin on July 14.

‘He joked: “Yes, 100 per cent. If we win, of course. I think I’ll get the trophy on my forehead or something!”

So incredibly unsurprisingly enough, Toney was joking. It was already generous to describe this as news, never mind worthy of a back-page splash. Now it’s barely anything of note.

“I think it goes without saying I’ll have to get a little memorable one – and hopefully it’s a good one.”

It does go without saying, Ivan, you already heavily-tattooed individual. Fair play. How frustrating that you are not The Sun’s editor; they could do with that sort of foresight.


Get lost, underdog
Mediawatch is a massive fan of this seamless transition from Andy Dunn in the Daily Mirror:

‘Forget taking playing instructions from Monaco Jim, Marginal Gains Dave and their various cohorts.

‘Ten Hag needs to get on the front foot and stop playing underdog football.’

Yeah, Erik. Stop listening to employers who know considerably less than you about football and coaching and, well, take my playing instructions instead.

Later on, Dunn adds:

‘When Ratcliffe completed his co-ownership deal, he spoke of how a cabal of executives would, essentially, tell the first team coach how they wanted United to play. Ten Hag needs to have none of that nonsense.

‘It is time for Erik to be bold.’

Again, it is quite something to insist Ten Hag should not listen to these completely underqualified people, and heed the words of someone even less qualified instead.

Dunn continues to say that, for Ten Hag, ‘the shackles should come off’. Which is surely the first time that sentiment has been expressed for anyone other than the England manager. It feels entirely wrong.

The Manchester United manager had a poor season, and in Dunn’s words is ‘lucky’ to still be in the post. But if Ratcliffe and Brailsford should not be dictating how he plays – and Mediawatch does not particularly disagree on that front – nor can a journalist really.


Chest control
On the subject of Ten Hag, this actually relatively short MailOnline headline catches the eye:

‘What’s next for Erik ten Hag at Man United: His transfer war chest revealed, four targets named… and almost the entire squad up for sale’

Is £50m the lowest ‘war chest’ in summer transfer window history? It will probably afford one player. It’s barely a war Tupperware box.


Eerie me
Ten Hag will obviously use that to win build a trophy-hoovering dynasty at Old Trafford, because Manchester United fans are apparently ‘convinced Erik ten Hag will be next Sir Alex Ferguson as eerie similarities from pivotal 1990 season emerge’.

This comes courtesy of The Sun website, or more pertinently someone on social media making a ‘striking’ comparison between two completely disparate Manchester United seasons separated by almost three and a half decades.

There are five of these ‘eerie similarities’ listed, which include beating Nottingham Forest 1-0 away in the FA Cup – albeit in different rounds – while wearing a white kit with red collar, both of which were ‘amazingly’ manufactured by Adidas.

Those ties were also won with headed goals and Manchester United went on to win the trophy by the end of those seasons, sparing Ferguson’s job in 1990 and apparently Ten Hag’s in 2024.

Ten Hag is putting them back on their perch, basically.

The definition of ‘eerie’ is ‘strange and frightening’. It sums up The Sun’s approach to journalism but not some vaguely interesting but entirely meaningless aspects in which two completely different situations resemble one another.

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