Erik ten Hag’s verdict on Man Utd during his first interview as boss

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag admits the club's situation is 'not good'

A picture of Erik ten Hag watching his Ajax side
Erik ten Hag started his new job at Manchester United on Monday. Credit Mike Egerton / PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

The new Manchester United manager, Erik ten Hag, has addressed the club media in what is his first interview since taking the job. 

Ten Hag, who has signed on an initial three-year contract, arrived in England last week and was in attendance for United’s poor showing at Selhurst Park on Sunday in the final match of the season. 

The away side lost 1-0 to Crystal Palace.

Many believe the Dutchman has a near-impossible task on his hands with the current squad and expect multiple incomings and outgoings to occur over the summer transfer window. 

“The current situation is obviously not that good”

Those are the words from Ten Hag, who started his permanent role on Monday. 

“First of all, we want to make the fans proud. Second, of course we are in this moment, the current situation is obviously not that good. It’s a big challenge,” Ten Hag said. 

“I want to build and construct a team who are battling for each other, who are unified and who will get results. Also we are playing in the Theatre of Dreams,” he added. “We want to entertain. But in the end, the intention is to play fantastic football. If we can’t play fantastic football, we still have to win.”

Fantastic football is what United fans have always expected at the minimum and, under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, they had that. But what they lacked was success and that saw Solskjaer sacked last November. 

Ten Hag has also admitted that there are changes required at the club but notes the squad did indeed finish second last season.

“It’s first: accept the current situation but also know one year ago, this club, this team was second in the Premier League. 

“There’s potential and now it’s up to us to get that out. It’s a process, it will take time but I’m convinced we will come to that point where we get success. We have to work hard and it has to be based on the right philosophy and strategy.”

It’s that kind of thing that United fans have been wanting to hear, a manager that has a vision and plan for the future. 

After the dreadful season that has just come to a close, United may need to accept that weaving in a new strategy takes time but the rewards at the end of it will be worth it.