Erik ten Hag, the manager of Manchester United, criticized the club’s recruitment policies in the years before his arrival, criticizing the “unimaginable quantity” of players who were signed but weren’t talented enough or didn’t have the character to perform well under pressure.
Ten Hag on United’s transfer policy before his arrival
Erik ten Hag, manager of Manchester United, has criticized the team’s transfer strategy, alleging that money was wasted on ‘ordinary’ acquisitions.
“Last season, Manchester United didn’t exactly exude dread. No spirit was present. The squad lacked any sense of teamwork.”
“There was very little mental toughness. In my early weeks at the club, I also became aware of it as an outsider,” Ten Hag told Voetbal International.
“I examined the club’s culture. I questioned, “How did Manchester United become so successful? In recent years, the club has purchased an unfathomable number of players that weren’t good enough.”
“Average has been the norm for most purchases; at United, the average is not good enough. The United jersey is heavy. Only real personalities who excel under intense pressure are allowed to perform here.”
Erik ten Hag said Manchester United have spent too much money on 'average' players in recent years 😮 pic.twitter.com/OFqmHOGnzj
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) January 7, 2023
Ten Hag reflects United’s history under Sir Alex and looks to the future
Before Christmas, the manager had a lengthy conversation with Voetbal International on United’s culture and what lies ahead. As translated by UnitedPeoplesTV, his main points are as follows: “I examined the club’s culture. I questioned, “How did Manchester United become so successful?”
“It was Sir Alex Ferguson for me. His teams excelled in cohesion, teamwork, and spirit. You couldn’t overcome them.”
“Top strikers like Cantona, Cole, Sheringham, Yorke, Van Nistelrooy and Van Persie were always available for United. Furthermore, elite goalkeepers like Schmeichel, Van der Sar, and De Gea.”
“Big names like Rio Ferdinand, Jaap Stam, and Vidic were in the center. And there’s always a midfield tactician:Roy Keane. Paul Scholes was a fantastic football player and person.”
🚨🚨🎙️| Erik ten Hag: “For me, it [the motivation] was Sir Alex Ferguson. His teams excelled in togetherness, collectivity, spirit. You just couldn't beat them.” pic.twitter.com/f4fBS9qyVe
— centredevils. (@centredevils) January 7, 2023
“Likewise, consider athletes like Ryan Giggs or David Beckham. That is United’s culture. I took a close look at that and noticed how frail and exposed the team from the previous season appeared to be.”
“When we acquire players, we evaluate their caliber and technical proficiency. However, it would help if you also considered their mental strength, and we had to restore that.”
“We required individuals. Casemiro’s acquisition was crucial for this reason. We now have a second player with title-winning experience in addition to Raphael Varane.”
“All fighters—Malacia, Martinez, Casemiro, and Antony—are competitors; Christian Eriksen is a technical victor and a wonderful person. The best is what we seek. We hold every player we recruit for United to the highest standards.”