Erik ten Hag pinpoints his three exciting philosophies in first Man Utd interview


Erik ten Hag has outlined three primary philosophies certain to excite supporters during his first interview with Manchester United since becoming the club’s manager. On Monday, Ten Hag officially started work as United’s fifth permanent boss since Sir Alex Ferguson.

The first part of the Dutchman’s interview was heavily Ajax-focused, but he was asked whether he considered the similarities to his former club when accepting the role. And in his response, he pinpointed three of the main philosophies he will transfer over to Old Trafford from his successful stint in Amsterdam.

Ten Hag put emphasis on playing attacking football to break motivated opposition down, instilling a high-pressing play style and blooding young talent into the first team. He said: “Yes. Already in your question before, there is a similarity with opponents being highly motivated but also the attacking football.

“We are playing in the Theatre of Dreams and have to entertain the opponent. We are playing in the opponent’s half, and we have to do attacking football. We have to do the pressing, the total high-pressing – that is a similarity also – and the adventurous football. Also, Ajax has that history of bringing young talents into the first team.”

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However, the 52-year-old stressed that it wasn’t about bringing his philosophy to United but rather using his expertise to match the club’s ‘identity’.

“We don’t have to go over my football,” Ten Hag added. “It’s about the Man United football and about the Man United identity and philosophy. I think that you pointed it out: it has to be about attacking football. We have to bring structures in the way of playing, so we can play attacking football.”

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His United arrival comes with mass intrigue, given his tendency to play an energetic style of football after the club’s current players have been heavily criticised for their work rate this season. After previously describing Ajax as a ‘fighting machine’ under his regime, Ten Hag insisted that is how he wants to build his Red Devils squad.

He continued: “Always. Everywhere I was in my career, I have high demands on my players. I expect them to fight and give 100 per cent. I already mentioned that only good is good enough. No, not only that – 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.”

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