Erik ten Hag revealed he’ll take a hard-line approach to the superstars he’ll manage at Man Utd, and insisted the buck regarding transfers will start and stop with him.
Manchester United officially confirmed Erik ten Hag will become their next permanent manager this summer. The Dutchman will be tasked with putting United back on track after enduring a near-decade of mediocrity since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.
Ten Hag beat out managerial hopeful Mauricio Pochettino to land the role. One factor that did go in the former Spurs boss’ favour, however, was the greater experience he has at managing big egos through his time at PSG.
In contrast, Ten Hag has never managed at senior level outside of his native Netherlands. His spell in Germany between 2013-15 was with Bayern Munich’s second team.
Rio Ferdinand previously claimed the next United manager must have the character to deal with the circus that comes with managing arguably the world’s biggest club.
As such, the one uncertainty Ten Hag brings is how he will manage the type of superstar names that United have, and will undoubtedly go on to sign.
Few fit the superstar billing quite like Cristiano Ronaldo.
Yet despite being United’s top scorer with 21 strikes this season, Ronaldo’s return has done little to turn the club’s fortunes around. If anything, United are at their lowest point since before the Ferguson years.
Ten Hag good for United, bad for Ronaldo?
Ten Hag places far more importance on the collective than individuals and his time in Amsterdam would suggest he has little tolerance for those unwilling to play the team game.
That could spell trouble for Ronaldo who remains a potent force in an attacking sense, but provides nothing when United are out of possession.
Indeed, journalist Guillem Balague recently claimed the Portuguese icon must be sold or United run the risk of Ten Hag’s tenure being a failure.
Now, speaking in his first interview since his Manchester United role was confirmed, Ten Hag was asked if he’s capable of handling the “Ronaldos of this world”. His response suggested Ronaldo will have to adapt his game with Ten Hag unwilling to make concessions for superstar names.
“I think so, but I will remain myself in that too,” Ten Hag told Dutch outlet Trouw. “I will not change my view on coaching.
“The material always determines how you play, but I indicate the requirements that come with it and the standards.
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“I tell who has what task and who does not meet it, will be told that, regardless of who it is. I make no concessions in that regard.”
Ten Hag has played an integral part in Ajax’s stellar recruitment since arriving in 2017.
When asked if he’ll be afforded the same level of input regarding transfers at Old Trafford, Ten Hag revealed it was a non-negotiable.
He continued: “Yes. I set requirements in advance about how I want to work. If they aren’t granted, I won’t.
“I am ultimately responsible and accounted for the results. I don’t want to be the sole ruler, I stand for cooperation, but control in transfers is a condition for me.”