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Five David Moyes mistakes that Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has been forced to fix at Man United

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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer will go head-to-head with David Moyes twice in four days over the coming week as Manchester United prepare for a double-header with West Ham.

United travel to east London to face the Hammers on Sunday in the Premier League before hosting the same side at Old Trafford on Wednesday in the Carabao Cup third round.

It is one of those quirks which the fixture list occasionally throws up – but at least this one should provide two interesting matches.

The matches will also see United’s current manager go up against one of his predecessors.

Moyes only lasted one season in the Old Trafford hot seat, but his spell in charge still had a lasting impact on the club.

Having arrived as “The Chosen One” to replace Sir Alex Ferguson after his retirement in 2013, Moyes certainly had a difficult act to follow.

It did not go to plan. While he began by winning the Community Shield, that was not a sign of things to come: he was sacked after just 10 months with United seventh in the Premier League.

Moyes’ spell in charge is not remembered fondly at the club, but his failings did at least give those that followed him something to learn from.

Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho both won trophies during their stints in charge, yet it took until Solskjaer was appointed in December 2018 for the club to find some sort of stability, even if they are still some way of bringing back the glory days of Ferguson.

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Here are five things Solskjaer has been forced to fix from Moyes’ time in charge.

Keeping the fans on side

United supporters were initially onboard with Moyes’ arrival from Everton in the summer of 2013, because he had come personally recommended by the club’s greatest manager of all time.

All the initial noises were positive, if slightly apprehensive, as a new era began at Old Trafford.

It didn’t take long for that pervasive feeling of good will to wane, though, as Moyes’ brand of football, manner of speaking and results took the sheen off the situation.

Having held up a banner with his “Chosen One” moniker early on, United fans publicly called for his sacking in March, organising a banner with “Wrong One – Moyes Out” to be flown past the stadium.

Solskjaer may be yet to win a trophy, but he at least has the majority of the supporters behind him.

Defeatist attitude

One of the reasons Moyes was not popular was the way he spoke during press conferences. United fans were used to bravado and a win-at-all-costs attitude and that was not Moyes’ way.

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The Scot referred to rivals Liverpool as the “favourites” ahead of their trip to Old Trafford and said Manchester City were “at the sort of level we are aspiring to”.

That is not a good way to endear yourself to fans.

Solskjaer may be a mild-mannered Norwegian with a softly-spoken voice, but he does at least understand the expectations of the job.

Exciting brand of football

Moyes was a hugely successful manager at Everton, where he oversaw a consistent period of Premier League finishes.

But his pragmatic approach to football was not a great fit for United, who were used to blood and thunder, flying wingers, box-to-box midfielders and dominating matches.

Moyes simply carried over his methods from Everton and failed to adapt them properly when it was clear they were not up to scratch.

While the defending has often been criticised and United can be too open at times, Solskjaer has at least ensured excitement.

Ambitious transfers

One of the sticks frequently used to beat Moyes was his lack of imagination and ambition in the transfer window.

When United made a poor start to the 2013/14 season, Moyes turned to what he knew, signing Marouane Fellaini for £27.5million from Everton on transfer deadline day.

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Fellaini was not the sort of addition United fans were after – and a failed move for Everton left-back Leighton Baines would have been unlikely to change their opinions.

Juan Mata was signed in January for a club-record fee of £37m, but it was too little too late.

This summer under Solskjaer could hardly be much different, with Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane three of the highest profile transfers anywhere in the world.

Man United ethos

As a former player, Solskjaer, it is often said, “just gets it”. He is established in United folklore and has done his best since his arrival at the end of 2018 to tap into the club’s backlog of expertise.

He has Michael Carrick and Mike Phelan as his assistants and Darren Fletcher as technical director, as well as others behind the scenes with strong links to the club.

When he arrived in the summer of 2013, Moyes brought with him many of his staff from Everton. Ferguson’s right-hand men Phelan, Rene Meulensteen and goalkeeping coach Eric Steele all left their positions.

Ryan Giggs and Phil Neville were appointed as coaches, but Moyes’ staffing choices heightened the perception of him as an outsider.

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Three Man United youngsters impressing Erik ten hang in training, with new boss shocked by one

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Erik ten Hag has only been coaching at Manchester United for a couple of days – but there are already three youngsters reportedly impressing their new boss.

The Dutchman has a good record of promoting youth players into the first team, which is something he did so well at Ajax.

And there is a trio of teenagers at Old Trafford who want to follow in the footsteps of Sergino Dest, Jurrien Timber, Ryan Gravenberch and Noa Lang, who were all given opportunities by Ten Hag in the first team of his former club.

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The Sun report that Zidane Iqbal is one of those, having signed a new contract at the Premier League side earlier this summer.

The 19-year-old, who made his first-team debut against Young Boys in the Champions League last December, has ‘shocked’ his new boss, who could be set for more minutes under the Dutch boss.

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Argentine winger Alejandro Garnacho is another who has caught Ten Hag’s eye in training, after scoring twice in the FA Youth Cup final against Nottingham Forest last season.

Garnacho, 18, trained with the Argentina senior squad earlier this year, having made two sub appearances for United.

He was also given Cristiano Ronaldo’s hat-trick ball after his treble against Norwich.

Hannibal Mejbri, 19, made a number of appearances towards the end of last season – including a fiery performance in the club’s heavy defeat to Liverpool.

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And he is another academy graduate who Ten Hag could throw into the first-team fold, especially with Ronaldo reportedly wanting to leave the club.

To expect any of that trio to immediately replace the wantaway superstar would be unrealistic.

But, give it a few years, and United could have the next Ronaldo on their hands.

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Erik Ten Hag demands Man Utd ‘be fast’ about getting £43m signing over the line

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Erik ten Hag has told Man Utd to hurry up over a potential deal to sign Ajax centre-back Lisandro Martinez, according to reports.

The Red Devils are looking for a new centre-back this summer to give Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Raphael Varane some competition.

Man Utd have been linked with a number of defenders but a potential transfer for Martinez seems to have legs with a number of respected journalists revealing Ten Hag’s interest in a deal.

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The Argentina international was one of Ajax’s best players under Ten Hag last season with the 24-year-old playing 37 times in all competitions for the Eredivisie champions.

Ajax have been holding out for €50m (£43m) for Martinez but reports yesterday indicated they are ‘willing to cooperate’ with Man Utd after the Red Devils put an offer of €41m plus €4m in add-ons on the table.

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And that will be music to Ten Hag’s ears with journalist Fabrizio Romano claiming that the Dutchman has told Man Utd ‘to be fast’ over sealing a deal for Martinez with competition coming from fellow Premier League side Arsenal.

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It is understood that Martinez is ‘pushing to leave Ajax’ this summer and Ten Hag wants the Argentine as his next signing after Christian Eriksen and Tyrell Malacia.

Arsenal are described as ‘still there’ in the race for Martinez but Romano adds that Man Utd boss Ten Hag ‘wants him strongly’.

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Barcelona do not want to sign Ronaldo, Lewandowski is the priority

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Following the meeting between Barcelona and super-agent Jorge Mendes on Monday, there has been non-stop speculation that the Catalans have been offered a chance to sign Manchester United superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.

The 37-year-old is intent on securing an exit from Old Trafford this summer, just a year after returning to his old stomping ground.

The lack of Champions League football and the failure to sign any players so far have been cited as reasons for the Portuguese maverick to seek a move.

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There have been talks with Chelsea, while a move to Bayern Munich has also been mooted. And following the meeting between his agent Mendes and Barcelona president Joan Laporta, it is being heavily speculated that Ronaldo has been offered to the Blaugrana.

However, as per a report from journalist David Bernabeu Reverter, there is zero chance that Barcelona will sign Ronaldo this summer.

The Spanish journalist claims that Bayern Munich superstar Robert Lewandowski remains the utmost priority for the Blaugrana this summer and their stance on the matter is non-negotiable.

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Barça have been pursuing Lewandowski for months and even have a three-year contract agreement in place with the Poland captain.

However, Bayern Munich’s unwillingness to negotiate with the Catalans is proving to be a major hurdle.

In spite of that, the Blaugrana remain intent on signing Lewandowski and are not considering bringing in Ronaldo, as per the aforementioned update.

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Despite being 37, Ronaldo remains in tremendous shape and scored 24 goals in all competitions last season. However, he has a rich history with Real Madrid.

The Portugal captain is Los Blancos’ all-time leading goalscorer and a club legend. So, it is hard to fathom that a move to Camp Nou can materialise.

As things stand, at least according to what David Bernabeu Reverter’s sources are stating, Lewandowski is the absolute priority for Barcelona.

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