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Tuesday, July 16, 2024

‘Even better’: Title-winning manager raves about Rene Hake as Man United move edges closer

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It is a debate which always arises whenever the time comes to crown the Manager of the Year.

Is it a greater achievement, for instance, for Pep Guardiola to lift a fourth successive Premier League title with Manchester City than for Unai Emery to take Aston Villa into the Champions League for the very first time?

Is it really a greater achievement than Andoni Iraola taking Bournemouth to 12th, all the while playing some of the most free-flowing football in the division.

A similar argument broke out in the Netherlands this week when Rene Hake – the Go Ahead Eagles coach seemingly on his way to Manchester United – went head-to-head with Peter Bosz for the annual Rinus Michels award.

Bosz not only ended PSV Eindhoven’s long wait for Eredivisie glory, he did so while accumulating 91 points, losing just once, and scoring 111 goals in the process. 7

Hake, meanwhile, led a comparatively unfancied, unfashionable Go Ahead Eagles outfit to their best finish in well over a decade. Comfortably ninth, comfortably mid-table.

  • Read more: Who is Rene Hake? Manchester United want coach Ten Hag called ‘incredibly driven’

NIJMEGEN - Go Ahead Eagles coach Rene Hake during the semi-final play-offs for European football between NEC and Go Ahead Eagles in De Goffert on M...

Photo by ANP via Getty Images

Manchester United near Rene Hake appointment

Bosz, in the end, would get the gong. But, speaking to PSV’s official website, the former Borussia Dortmund, Ajax and Bayer Leverkusen coach was quick to pay tribute to the man who could perhaps consider himself to be unfortunate to end awards night with empty hands.

“I always find it difficult to compare,” Bosz says. “How is my performance better than that of Rene Hake? I always find that very difficult. We have better players and a bigger budget.

“Maybe their performance is even better (than mine).”

A perennial overachiever, Hake is renowned in the Netherlands for constructing teams greater than the sum of their parts while his forceful, demanding nature made a few headlines in England this week when clips of his furious dressing room rants went viral, per The Sun.

Erik ten Hag, interestingly, helped hand Hake his break in FC Twente’s youth side nearly 20 years ago, per Voetbal International. The two Dutchman have been in touch ever since.

And it was Ten Hag again who came calling when Manchester United found themselves on the lookout for a new assistant coach in June.

Go Ahead Eagles coach excited by Red Devils chance

“Erik called me and asked if I was open to it,” Hake tells ESPN. “I don’t think I have to explain that I didn’t have to think about it for very long before saying yes.

“It’s a great step for me and a great challenge. It’s great to gain experience in the biggest competition in the world.

“I have received many congratulations, but they are not yet fully justified. It is in the offing, but (my move to Man United is) not yet officially completed. We are waiting until everything is formally completed.

“You know that all the legal matters have to be checked. You just have to be patient, but it can’t move fast enough for me.”

Go Ahead Eagles’ sporting director – the former Man City midfielder Paul Bosvelt – has confirmed that he will not stand in Hake’s way, an acceptance that this is an opportunity the 52-year-old should not be denied.

“It has been going on for a week and a half now and we would like some clarity,” Bosvelt told Voetbal International.

“(But) this is a step that we do not want to take away from Rene. He deserves it very much.”

Old Trafford icon Ruud van Nistelrooy is also expected to join Ten Hag’s re-jigged coaching staff.

  • READ MORE: Manchester United manager history, trophies won, win percentage

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