Holland boss warns Erik ten Hag to avoid taking Manchester United job for one reason

Holland boss Louis van Gaal tells countryman Erik ten Hag to reject the Old Trafford job after seeing their issues first-hand

As quoted by the Daily Mail, former Manchester United manager Louis van Gaal has urged Ajax Amsterdam boss Erik ten Hag from taking the job at Old Trafford, branding United as a commercial club.

The 70-year-old was in charge of the Red Devils from 2014 to 2016, taking over from David Moyes after the Scot was dismissed before even completing a full season at the club. The pressure was always going to be on Moyes after succeeding Sir Alex Ferguson, and a poor string of results did not help his case.

van Gaal, who is currently in charge of the Holland national team, praised ten Hag and called him a great coach, which bodes well for the Manchester side. The Ajax boss is one of the leading candidates to be offered the permanent manager job in the summer.

“I think Ten Hag is a great coach. A great coach is good for Man Utd.”

Louis Van Gaal warns Erik ten Hag about taking the Manchester United job in the summer.
Louis Van Gaal warns Erik ten Hag about taking the Manchester United job in the summer.

There can be no doubt about why the Red Devils are keen on hiring ten Hag as their new permanent boss ahead of the new campaign, with the Dutchman currently on course to lead Ajax to a hat-trick of league titles in the Eredivisie – all won under the manager’s tenure.

“They are a commercial club”

If United offer ten Hag the vacant job in the coming weeks, and the 52-year-old accepts it, then it would be a massive step up for the Ajax man as he prepares to lead one of the world’s biggest clubs. Ajax themselves are Dutch giants, but in comparison to United’s stature across the globe, it pales in comparison.

van Gaal, who won a FA Cup during his tenure in Manchester, criticised his former side by branding them a commercial club rather than a football club, which could prove to be a difficult choice as a coach.

“But, they are a commercial club. Those are difficult choices for a coach. He should choose a football club, not a commercial club.”

Ajax Amsterdam manager Erik ten Hag is one of the leading candidates for the Manchester United job.
Ajax Amsterdam manager Erik ten Hag is one of the leading candidates for the Manchester United job.

van Gaal will go down as one of the more successful managers to have taken charge of the Manchester side in the past decade, winning a trophy for the club- something Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, David Moyes, and Ralf Rangnick have been unable to do. Since his departure, United have yet to win another FA Cup.

He will fondly be remembered by supporters for developing and promoting current first-team stars such as Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard, who have since gone on to impress in the senior side and play crucial roles in the team.

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The Dutchman’s analysis of the Red Devils becoming a commercial club can be understood, as he worked closely with then-chief executive Ed Woodward, who was often perceived as focusing on raising revenue off the pitch but unable to deliver success on it. 

However, a new era is being ushered in at the club ahead of the new season, with plenty of changes being made behind the scenes. Richard Arnold has taken over from Woodward to ensure that the team chases trophies and focuses on football, taking a different approach from the one his predecessor was on. It remains to be seen whether ten Hag will be put off by van Gaal’s comments, or if he is impressed by the vision that Arnold holds – if the Ajax boss is offered the job, that is.