March 20, 2023

United’s Ten Hag hopeful of ending City, Liverpool dominance

May 23, 2022
Erik Ten Hag

New Manchester United manager, Erik ten Hag has said he can end the dominance of Manchester City and Liverpool in the Premier League.

United finished 35 points behind Pep Guardiola’s champions but as he was presented as the new permanent manager at Old Trafford on Monday, the Dutchman said the top two can be toppled.

“In this moment, I admire them both, Manchester City and Liverpool,” Ten Hag said. “They both play really fantastic football, both Liverpool and Man City.

“But you will always see an era can come to an end and I am looking forward to battle with them, and I am sure all the other Premier League clubs will want to do that.

“I’ve already met big coaches and big teams in the Premier League and I know how to deal with that

“But it’s clear, the Premier League is the biggest league in the world I think and I’m looking forward to battling with them.”

ALSO READ:  Man Utd confirm Erik ten Hag as new manager

Ten Hag has signed an initial three-year contract at United having secured three league titles while in charge at Ajax. There have been suggestions the 52-year-old is taking a risk by trying to succeed where Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer have failed but Ten Hag doesn’t see it that way.

“I don’t see it as a risk,” he said. “This club has a great history, now let’s make the future! I am excited to do that with the people around and with the new staff. We will go from day to day, 100% committed and I am sure we will get success.

“There is a fantastic history, and the high potential for the future — that’s why I’m here. I don’t speak with the players now, they need a break, they need a break to reflect, but I’m looking forward and I can’t wait to start.”

Asked whether Cristiano Ronaldo is part of his plans for the future, Ten Hag said “of course” but he was less enthusiastic about the prospect of working with former interim boss Ralf Rangnick, who is due to take up a two-year consultancy role.

Asked whether he would support Rangnick taking up the role, Ten Hag replied pointedly: “That’s on the club.”

Manchester United have confirmed the appointments of Mitchell van der Gaag and Steve McClaren as part of Erik ten Hag’s new-look backroom staff.

ALSO READ:  Man Utd confirm Erik ten Hag as new manager

The pair will join as assistant coaches to the Dutchman, who officially takes the reins at Old Trafford on Monday.

Ten Hag watched United’s defeat to Crystal Palace on Sunday from the stands alongside Van der Gaag and McClaren.

Van der Gaag, who had a spell as a player at Motherwell, worked alongside Ten Hag at Ajax. His appointment is subject to approval from the FA and receiving a U.K. visa.

McClaren, meanwhile, is back at the club having previously served as Sir Alex Ferguson’s No. 2 between 1999 and 2001.

He left to take the manager’s job at Middlesbrough and also had spells in charge of England and FC Twente, where Ten Hag was part of his staff. This season the 61-year-old had been working as an advisor to Wayne Rooney at Derby County.

Sources have told ESPN that Ten Hag has not ruled out making further appointments to his coaching team but first will assess what staff are already employed at Old Trafford.

Mike Phelan has remained at the club despite the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in November while Ralf Rangnick, who ended his spell as interim boss on Sunday, hired Chris Armas and Ewan Sharp as assistants when he took over from the Norwegian.

Ten Hag has told the club’s players they have to come together and “cooperate” if the team are to challenge for top honours.

ALSO READ:  Man Utd confirm Erik ten Hag as new manager

“Everywhere I was in my career, I have high demands on my players. I expect them to fight and give 100 percent,” Ten Hag told MUTV on Monday.

“We have to do better and they have to co-operate. They have to be unified, to form a team, and to battle the opponent,” he said.

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