Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Erik ten Hag issues chilling reaction to Man Utd’s Arsenal defeat as he reveals immediate focus

Ajax coach Erik ten Hag during the Toto KNVB Cup Press Conference prior to the cup final against PSV at the Johan Cruijff ArenA on April 15, 2022 in Amsterdam

Incoming new Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag insists he is making plans for life at Old Trafford – but ghosted questions on their top-four prospects and Saturday’s painful defeat at Arsenal.

United finally confirmed the appointment of Ten Hag on Thursday, the Dutchman signing an initial three-year deal. That put an end to weeks of speculation, with Ten Hag officially signing a deal to become the highest-earning Dutch coach in the Premier League’s history.

Clearly Ten Hag has a monumental rebuilding task on his hands. They are a whopping 26 points behind table-topping Manchester City, having played a game more.

And brutal defeats at Liverpool and Arsenal this week – in which United have shipped seven goals – have woefully exposed their shortcomings.

As such, the Dutch coach will have to spend an awful lot of time assessing which players are actually good enough to build a future around. Indeed, he will likely lean a lot on interim boss Ralf Rangnick, who claims United’s squad needs ‘open-heart surgery’.

Ten Hag’s role at Manchester United will officially commence from 1 July, with his Ajax deal expiring the day before.

However, he is already turning some of his thoughts towards the job already.

That said, his current club Ajax still have work to do before securing another Eredivisie crown.

And for that reason, Ten Hag claims his immediate focus is on the Amsterdammers.

Ajax are four points clear of PSV at the summit, with four games left to play.

Speaking after Saturday’s 1-0 win over NEC, Ten Hag said: “I always keep focused on the job I have to do. It doesn’t matter what’s around me.”

Pressed on whether he’s giving plans to life at Old Trafford, he added: “You always spend time on the future, but my head and my energy is for Ajax.”

Ten Hag ghosts question on United’s loss at Arsenal

Ten Hag is seeking his third Eredivisive title in four seasons with Ajax. It would be a fitting end to his reign at the Ajax ArenA.

But as Ajax were winning their game, United were licking their wounds after a damaging 3-1 loss at Arsenal. The result leaves them six points behind Arsenal in fourth, having played a game more.

You can see our Player Ratings from another awful performance right here.

However, Ten Hag refuses to discuss their situation at present and chillingly cut short questions about their situation.

“I don’t have any opinion about Man Utd’s results,” he responded sharply. “I show respect for people who are at Man Utd, and I am for responsible for Ajax and that is what I comment on.”

Erik Ten Hag wants to get rid of 12 Manchester United players

Erik Ten Hag wants to get rid of 12 Manchester United players this summer as he starts his rebuild

Question marks over his commitment to Ajax have surfaced in the Dutch media.

On Saturday morning De Telegraaf‘s back-page headline claimed Ten Hag’s title bid is “hanging by a thread”.

However, he remains adamant that he his energies remain with Ajax right now. And he knows the only way to do that will be to secure the Eredivisive title.

Ajax striker Sebastien Haller has also backed Ten Hag, saying the Ajax boss is the “ultimate professional”.

READ MORE: Ten Hag casts doubts on Ronaldo future with telling first interview