New Manchester United permanent manager Erik ten Hag sends message to the first-team squad about his expectations
Speaking in his first interview as the new permanent manager of Manchester United (h/t Daily Mail), Erik ten Hag has laid out his plans for the future and also sent a message to the first-team squad about his expectations from the players.
ten Hag was previously in charge of Ajax Amsterdam, where he led them to a third consecutive Eredivisie title this term. This was the club’s third league triumph in the five years he was in charge of the Dutch club.
When quizzed about his plans for the near future at his new club in Manchester, he said that everyone needs to accept the current situation. However, he recognised the team’s potential as they finished second in the Premier League last season, and admitted it is up to him and his staff to get that out.
“It’s first: accept the current situation but also know one year ago, this club, this team was second in the Premier League. There’s potential and now it’s up to us to get that out. It’s a process, it will take time but I’m convinced we will come to that point where we get success. We have to work hard and it has to be based on the right philosophy and strategy.”
The Dutchman will be taking over the reins of the senior side from Ralf Rangnick, who will see his tenure as interim manager expire in the summer. Rangnick will now assist the club from the outside in a consultancy role, although his exact job profile is not yet known.
“We have to do better”
Rangnick’s final game as head coach of United was also the last game of the current campaign for the club, ending it with a disappointing 1-0 loss to Crystal Palace. The Manchester side finished the season in sixth position in the Premier League table, securing UEFA Europa League football next term.
ten Hag warned the squad that good is not good enough for him and that they need to do better in the upcoming season. He said that he has high expectations not just from himself but also from what he demands from his squad, saying he wanted cooperation from the players.
“I have high expectations from myself and that is also what I demand from my squad. They have to co-operate together and they have to give every day their best. And I would say, for me, good is not good enough. We have to do better.”
The new manager has quite a task on his hands, expected to take the club back to where it belongs after shaking off the previous season’s disappointment. ten Hag will have to make do with Europa League football as well, with Rangnick unable to guide the side to qualify for the Champions League.
A massive squad rebuild is also expected at Old Trafford under the watchful eyes of the new boss, with a flurry of transfer activity to take place in the next couple of weeks during the summer transfer window. It remains to be seen which players from the current squad will make the cut next term.
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Having built a reputation for himself by leading a young and dynamic Ajax team to multiple trophies in the past, ten Hag will also be expected to help break United’s trophy drought. The summer marks five years since the Manchester side last won any silverware.
ten Hag seems to have a clear idea of what to expect in the near future, and what he wants his players to do in order to ensure success. Hopefully, he is able to meet his own expectations and have the stars rally around him in order to win titles in the near future and compete with the best of the rest in England and in Europe.