Revealed: How Erik ten Hag got Steve McClaren back to Man United ​

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Erik ten Hag has been confirmed as the fifth man who’ll fail to fill the Sir Alex Ferguson-shaped void at Old Trafford – but it won’t be for the want of expert linguistic assistance.

That’s because former Fergie assistant and fluent Dutch speaker Steve McClaren is set to join his backroom team despite opposition from within the club.

That’s because the United hierarchy fell they’ve already enough members of staff with questionable track records of achievement within the game who can support the new manager.

And Paddy Power News can exclusively reveal the tense negotiations between the Ajax boss and United execs over the former England coach having seen a Zoom recording of their final discussions…

United lawyer: “So, we’ve pretended Joel [Glazer] won’t veto your moves because Snthony Martial is his favourite player, that the Social Media team will not under any circumstances pick the team – unless they send out an absolute banger of tweet the day before the game – and given you the same spiel about long-term plans we’ve given every other manager since Ferguson, now it’s on to organise your staff,,,

Erik ten Hag:  “Yes, it is crucial that we build a strong coaching team and structure within the club to develop future talent and build long-term success…”

United lawyer: “Okay, that sounds great, but if there’s any chance you could find a spot the son of the CEO of our official Bulgarian lagging jacket partners putting out the cones that’d be great!”

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Erik ten Hag: “We are trying to build a professional modern coaching team…”

United executive: “It’s okay Erik, you don’t have to do that, Mike Phelan’s already got the job nailed down.”

Erik ten Hag: “Who is this Mike Phelan?”

United executive: “I’ve been told he was like Pep Guardiola with a ‘tache as a player…”

[Uproarious laughter]

“No, but seriously, he’s threatened to pop another balloon near Fergie if anyone tells him to leave so best to keep him onside.”

Erik ten Hag: “Okay, but I have someone else in mind who also knows the club well…”

United executive: “Who? Giggsy? Butty? Scholesy? Nevilley?”

[Ten Hag picks up his phone, dials and puts it on speaker]

Voice on phone: “‘Allo, allo, oooooh iizz zisss?”

Erik ten Hag: “Hello Steve? It’s Erik, we talked last week about United…”

Voice on phone: “Oh yessssch, Erik, ‘ow are you? I’m scho schorry, I was exschpecting a call from Nîmesch Olympique – they need a new ‘schef’, as they say in France, and I am numero uno on their list.”

“As you know, I am a master of the Latin languages too – got an 87 day streak on Duolingo, and picked up Français, Italiano and Español…”

Erik ten Hag: “Eh, that’s great Steve, but I would like you to join me at Manchester United as my assistant.”

LONDON – NOVEMBER 21: Manager of England Steve McClaren looks dejected during the Euro 2008 Group E qualifying match between England and Croatia at Wembley Stadium on November 21, 2007 in London, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

Voice on phone: “Oh wunderbar, das ist a fantastiche idea.”

Erik ten Hag: “Very good, but why are you speaking like that? Is it German?!”

Voice on phone: “Because we’ll all be lucky to get a job in the Austrian 3rd Division in 6 months time.”

Voice from conference room phone: “Hey guys, Joel here, just one question – why do we need another coach when we could take on five more social media team members and increase the Man U brand’s engagements instead?”

[Silence]

Erik ten Hag: Mr Glazer, we are hoping to improve the football te…

Voice from conference room phone: “Soccer.”

Erik ten Hag: …am’s performance on the pitch not on social media, and the way to do that is to bring in England’s most disastrous manager in a generation.”

“Plus, I have heard about the famous Manchester weather – who better than Steve to hold the brolly for us?”

[More laughter, recording ends]

*Paddy Power’s breaking news coverage is 100% fake news, and that’s the truth – honest*

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