Ten Hag will take over as Manchester United manager at the end of the season but the Dutchman faces a huge battle to restore the Premier League giants to their former glory
A claim from Jose Mourinho about the expectations of Manchester United’s hierarchy in recent years could give Erik ten Hag a welcome boost ahead of his arrival as manager.
Ten Hag will take over as the Red Devils’ next permanent boss following the final day of the season, when United travel to Crystal Palace. The Dutchman’s arrival can not come soon enough for the Premier League giants, who have endured a dreadful season.
Ralf Rangnick has done little to change their fortunes since replacing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with United on course to play in the Europa League next year. An overhaul is badly needed over the summer window, one that Ten Hag will be expected to lead.
But many will also expect Ten Hag to deliver success, with United approaching a decade without having won the Premier League title. One of the main criticisms aimed at Solskjaer’s reign was his lack of trophies.
If Mourinho’s revelation is right though, Ten Hag will not be held to the same standards as his predecessors. The current Roma boss has hinted that United’s objectives are no longer to “lift trophies”, having spent more than two years at Old Trafford from 2016.
“I believe that the problem with Carlo Ancelotti was that when you coach Everton you are not about to win the Champions League. And with me, you know, people they saw me taking up jobs where they thought that I could win trophies but they were not jobs where we were expected to lift trophies,” he said.
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“But when you have such a winning career on a cyclical basis so to speak, you can expect that, people can say that. Personally I’m not worried about this [being replaced by younger coaches]. I do not think and focus on the generations, I focus on quality.
“It’s a matter of quality, motivation, passion. Without passion you are finished. Without pressure in the build-up to big games you are finished. I know very well myself, I know very well Carlito as well.
“But there are more examples that we could make. But we are the ones who will call it when we want to stop, and I’m afraid people will have to wait a long time before I say that it’s over!”
If Mourinho is correct and United’s objectives are no longer focused around silverware, it could be a crucial boost for Ten Hag. There will undoubtedly be less pressure on him as a result as he beings his rebuild of the Red Devils’ squad.
As a result, he will have more time to get the overhaul right and lay foundations that could lead to longer-term success. Without the pressure of having to win a trophy in his first campaign, Ten Hag would be allowed the time he needs to finally start the process of restoring the club to its former glory.