In his first interview as manager, Erik ten Hag delivered a warning to Manchester United’s failing players, informing them that ‘good is not good enough’ under his regime.
After signing a three-year deal with United last month, Ten Hag formally took over the club on Monday morning.
The Dutchman joins a Manchester United side that finished sixth in the Premier League this season after joining from Eredivisie champions Ajax.
However, the club’s troubles since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013 have continued, with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer ousted in November and interim manager Ralf Rangnick failing.
Ten Hag has cautioned his side that bringing success back to Old Trafford is a ‘huge challenge,’ and that he expects them to ‘co-operate’ and buy into his ‘complete high-pressing’ style of play.
In an interview with MUTV, the 52-year-old added, “That is what I expect.” ‘I have high standards for myself, and I expect the same from my teammates.’
After finishing second in 2020-21 and signing Cristiano Ronaldo, Raphael Varane, and Jadon Sancho last summer, United were expected to fight for the crown.
‘They must work together and give their all every day.’ And I’d say that good isn’t good enough for me. We need to improve.’
‘We’re playing in the Theatre of Dreams, and we have to entertain the opposition,’ Ten Hag continued. We’re in the opposition’s half and must play offensive football.
‘We have to press, total high-pressing – which is also comparable to Ajax – and play adventurous football.’
Ten Hag earned three Eredivisie titles with Ajax and will be hoping for more with Manchester United, who have gone five seasons without a trophy.
‘First, accept the current circumstances, but remember that this club, this team was second in the Premier League a year ago,’ Ten Hag stated when asked about his plans for the Premier League giants.