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“Different mentality”- Retired Manchester United cult hero calls out Ten Hag on treatment of stars

Zlatan Ibrahimović criticizes the treatment of star players by manager Erik ten Hag at Manchester United.
Zlatan Ibrahimović played for Manchester United

Zlatan Ibrahimović criticizes the treatment of star players by manager Erik ten Hag at Manchester United

Former Manchester United forward Zlatan Ibrahimović criticized manager Erik ten Hag in the TalkTV show (h/t Metro) interview.

The 42-year-old criticized the Red Devils manager for his treatment of high-profile players within the club.

Ten Hag’s hard stance toward implementing stiff discipline has divided fans and football experts as Ibrahimović made his opinion known.

Zlatan Ibrahimović criticizes the treatment of star players by manager Erik ten Hag at Manchester United.
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag joined the club after a successful stint with Dutch giant Ajax. (Photo by MANAN VATSYAYANA/GettyImages)

Ibrahimovic talked about the difference between managing a club like Dutch giant Ajax and United. Ajax are well-known for developing talent and transforming them into starters that big European clubs often acquire. He said:

“Ajax is a talented club. They have the best talents in the club. They don’t have big stars. What is the experience of this coach? Young talents, he comes to United, it is a different mentality. The players there are supposed to be big stars. I don’t think you give the same treatment. The situation of the coach, I think he is living two different situations now. Then obviously what happened with Jadon Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo, I don’t know.”

Manchester United icon Cristiano Ronaldo had his contract terminated by mutual consent after a fallout with Ten Hag. The Dutchman’s relationship with Ronaldo fell publicly after the Portuguese forward declared he had no respect for the manager.

Ten Hag publicly criticized the training performance of Jadon Sancho earlier this season after a 3-1 loss to Arsenal. Sancho responded promptly on social media, posting a message that accused others of using him as a scapegoat.

The 23-year-old is currently training away from the main squad, and the manager has barred him from using any first-team facilities. The Englishman has since refused to apologize to the United manager as both the player and manager reached an impasse.

According to the Daily Mail, last season, Ten Hag did not receive permission to publicly disclose Sancho’s mental health situation. The 53-year-old received heavy criticism for his action but maintained that he was only trying to help the player.

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We think that Ibrahimović made some valid points as there is a difference between the star power in the two clubs. Ten Hag cannot treat players at United in the way he treated the players at Ajax. However, Casemiro and Raphael Varane came from Real Madrid which won multiple Champions League and they have had no issues.

The matter of Ronaldo and Sancho are not similar as Ronaldo never fit the profile that Ten Hag’s philosophy demanded. The United manager is very blunt and honest with his style but the mental health situation needs a more careful approach. After all, one size does not fit all.

Written by Siddharth Juyal

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