New Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag looking to end the successful eras of rivals Manchester City and Liverpool
Speaking in his first press conference as Manchester United manager (h/t Daily Mail), Erik ten Hag has vowed to provide competition to rivals Manchester City and Liverpool and end their streak of winning trophies.
ten Hag spoke to the media for the first time since being appointed as United’s new permanent manager, replacing Ralf Rangnick at the end of the season. He joins from Ajax Amsterdam, having led the Dutch giants to their third consecutive Eredivisie title in the 2021/22 campaign.
The new Red Devils boss said that he admires both Liverpool and Man City who play fantastic football, but insisted that such eras of dominance always come to an end. The Dutchman added that he is looking forward to battling them in the near future.
“I think, yeah. In this moment I admire them both. Liverpool and Manchester City play fantastic football, but you will always see an era can come to an end. I look forward to a battle with them and I’m sure other clubs will want to do that.”
Local rivals City recently won the Premier League title, while long-time arch-nemesis Liverpool have picked up the FA Cup and League Cup this time around. Meanwhile, the Old Trafford outfit has failed to lift silverware in over five years, last winning the UEFA Europa League in 2017.
“I don’t see this as a risk”
United have fallen far behind their rivals in terms of trophies in recent years. They have failed to win the league title in nearly a decade – not since Sir Alex Ferguson’s final season as manager in 2013. ten Hag himself is the fifth permanent boss to be appointed by the club since the legendary Scot.
The 52-year-old however, said that he did not view his new job as a risk, insisting that he will have success. He referred to the Manchester side’s great history and said he was looking forward to making a future and was excited to work with the people around the club.
“I don’t see this as a risk. I think this club has a great history and let’s make a future. I’m really excited to do that with the people around in the club – work hard, be 100 per cent committed and I’m sure we will have success.”
ten Hag has a massive task ahead of him, having to lift a side that finished sixth in the league table and get them fighting for trophies against their competitors next season. After a disappointing campaign, he will hope that the squad is ready for a new and fresh challenge beyond the summer.
His arrival comes with optimism and expectations, given his trophy record in the Netherlands with Ajax. He managed to secure a hat-trick of league titles for the Amsterdam side and now comes to a club that has not tasted success in half a decade.
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Aside from City and Liverpool, sides like Chelsea, Arsenal, and Tottenham Hotspur provide direct competition to the Red Devils. All these clubs have finished above United in the 2021/22 campaign, and ten Hag will need to dig deep to correct that.
A massive squad rebuild is also expected to be led by the Dutchman, putting together a team that is capable of playing to his instructions and working hard to deliver success. Only time will tell if ten Hag’s statements come good in the coming season.