Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Carragher, Neville clash over Ten Hag / Klopp comparison as next Man Utd boss faces ‘huge’ task

Erik ten Hag new Manchester United manager

Gary Neville disagrees with Jamie Carragher that incoming Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag faces similar problems Jurgen Klopp had early on at Liverpool.

Ten Hag will take the reins at Old Trafford in the summer when interim manager Ralf Rangnick makes way. The Dutchman faces a battle to bring the good times back to the Theatre of Dreams after a tough few years. United have not won the Premier League title since Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure.

And they look like missing out on a Champions League berth next season. There are no such problems for the Reds, with Klopp’s charges still challenging on four fronts.

But it was not always that way during the German’s time at Anfield. And Carragher believes that there are echoes of Klopp’s initial journey facing Ten Hag at United.

“I think it is very similar, it really is,” he told Sky Sports. “It was possibly a harder job for Jurgen Klopp because the funds for any Manchester United manager we’ve seen over the last ten years, and going forward, are probably a lot more than what Jurgen Klopp had when he first came in.

“People talk about how long it should take Ten Hag and there’s talk of Liverpool and Man City being five years ahead. Someone even mentioned ten years ahead.

“I think it is absolute rubbish. A top manager gets a top club back on track within a couple of years. That’s not say to win the title or the Champions League, but they get them back on track and competing.”

Neville takes issue with Carragher views

Speaking on Monday Night Football, Neville gave his opinion on the task ahead for Ten Hag. And the former Manchester United right-back disagreed with his colleague that Klopp’s initial job at Anfield was tougher than the one facing the current Ajax chief.

“I don’t think so. When Jurgen Klopp came in, there were no real set winners at that time when he came in,” he said.

“I liken the job that Ten Hag has got at taking on these two unbelievable managers in Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp, who have set foundations at their clubs for five years, to Gerard Houllier’s task when he came in when Sir Alex Ferguson and Wenger were set or when Rafa Benitez came in and Jose Mourinho, Sir Alex Ferguson and Wenger were set.”

And the pundit feels Ten Hag faces a massive task to overcome the managerial heavyweights he will face.

“You’re coming into Manchester United now when there’s two or three great managers, I put Tuchel in there as well, who are set in their jobs,” he added. “When Klopp came in, Guardiola was just starting, Manchester United were in the midst of changing managers regularly and there were no set foundations at any big club.

“The job Ten Hag has got is absolutely huge. The job Jurgen Klopp had was huge as well, so I’m not underplaying that – it’s outrageous what he has done.

“We all hope that Ten Hag comes in and blows everybody away and that Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola blow up somehow. But they’re not blowing up.”

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