Ten Hag pinpoints key Ferguson trait
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag believes Sir Alex Ferguson's incredible ability to reconstruct title-winning teams was one of his most precious qualities.
Sir Alex bought wisely when building the squad that won the inaugural Premier League in 1992/93, raiding Leeds United for Eric Cantona during the campaign, as he would become the catalyst to the start of a glorious period in the club's history.
A first Double was secured in the following year, but the second, won in 1995/96, came with a changed side, infused with the youth of the Class of '92, but still led by our French forward. By the time of the Treble, youngsters such as David Beckham and Ryan Giggs had really matured, and stellar signings such as Jaap Stam, Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole bolstered the side.
Remarkably, the relentless pursuit of silverware continued long after the turn of the century, with the team constantly evolving. Wayne Rooney and Cristiano Ronaldo were shrewd acquisitions as youngsters and instrumental in the dual Champions League-Premier League triumph in 2007/08. One last roll of the dice with the signing of Robin van Persie from Arsenal helped fire the Reds to Ferguson's last title victory, in 2012/13, as he headed into retirement on a real high.
Sir Alex's ability to regenerate his squad, time and time again, in an ever-changing footballing landscape is something not lost on Ten Hag.
The Dutchman, who celebrated our recent Carabao Cup victory with the Scot at Wembley, admits there is so much to be admired in one of his predecessors.
"First of all, he knew when to rebuild and reconstruct a new team because he did it over two decades and, every time, he was successful," Erik explained to the Premier League. "He did it with a balance of homegrown players and bringing big stars in.
"He got the best out of it, like working with Eric Cantona, working with Wayne Rooney. That is huge if you are able to handle those personalities, but also to let them play as a team. That was always one of his most important qualities - that the team is always above any individual.
"It's difficult to construct one winning team. He did it so many times over 26 years!"
Ten Hag, speaking about Ferguson's induction into the Premier League Hall of Fame, believes Sir Alex has set the tone for what needs to follow at the club during his reign.
"You feel it every day because he left a legacy and Manchester United is Alex Ferguson," said the current Reds manager. "He set the highest standards, the highest values, and brought the winning attitude. He built that in the club and that is the standard that you must face if you want to play for Manchester United or work for Manchester United."