Inside Ten Hag and Alex Ferguson’s intimate meal during Liverpool rout

Ten Hag outlines what Man Utd must do in Champions League quest

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In Manchester United’s biggest week since Sir Alex Ferguson left an unfillable void in the Old Trafford dugout, it seems fitting he was pictured with Erik ten Hag on Tuesday. If the Dutchman could have hand-picked anyone to garner wisdom from before a blockbuster European clash against Barcelona and a cup final in the space of four days, it’s him.

United supporters descended into a frenzy on social media on Tuesday evening, and not just because of their rivals Liverpool’s brutal fate against Real Madrid at Anfield.

A picture emerged of Ten Hag meeting Ferguson in a setting that suggests the pair enjoyed dinner in each other’s company.

The fan-favourite pair were sat in Cibo restaurant in Wilmslow, near where Ten Hag has called home since moving to England last summer.

At the same time, Real handed Liverpool a gut-punching 5-2 thrashing at Anfield, all but ending the Reds’ hopes of Champions League glory for another year.

And while some have jokingly speculated that either Ten Hag or Ferguson would’ve been remiss not to keep updated with the score, the topic of most conversation was likely firmly on United.

Ten Hag’s side are favourites to progress when they host Barcelona at Old Trafford on Thursday after bringing a 2-2 draw back from the Nou Camp last week.

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Many will also prefer them when they meet Newcastle United in the Carabao Cup final at Wembley Stadium on Sunday.

Ten Hag knows that by the end of the week, he could have guided United to their first trophy in six years and cemented their status as frontrunners for at least one more in his maiden season.

Who better to deliver a pep talk than one of the most decorated coaches in football history?

Ferguson lifted 38 pieces of silverware across 27 years at Old Trafford, including four Carabao Cups (or League Cups as they are known without sponsorship).

Ten Hag didn’t look nervous or intimidated when talking with arguably the most important figure in United’s storied history.


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Instead, it was one elite coach speaking to another, likely with glory at Wembley on his mind after joining the Red Devils to achieve exactly that.

Ten Hag has enjoyed a spectacular and surprising start to life in M16 on the back of the club’s worst-ever Premier League season.

Plenty are touting United as title challengers as they sit five points behind leaders Arsenal, while they, for now, remain the only club in Europe still involved in all four competitions they entered this term.

Ferguson, whose attendance, home and away, has increased in recent months, will be at Old Trafford on Thursday and Wembley on Sunday.

The sight of United lifting silverware, once common practice, is now a feeling millions have missed for far too long. Whether this weekend or later, Ten Hag is almost certain to be the man to change that.

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