Former Ajax star compares new Man Utd manager Erik ten Hag to Pep Guardiola

Erik ten Hag of Ajax prior to the TOTO KNVB Cup Final match between PSV and Ajax at Stadion Feijenoord on April 17, 2022 in Rotterdam, Netherlands.


Former Ajax player Ronald de Boer has compared Manchester United’s new manager Erik ten Hag to Manchester City’s world-renowned boss Pep Guardiola.

Ten Hag, 52, was confirmed as the new Red Devils boss on Thursday after weeks of speculation and will take charge at Old Trafford at the end of season.

The Dutchman already has a great reputation after helping Ajax to the Champions League semi-finals in 2019 – knocking out Real Madrid and Juventus in the process – and he has also won two Eredivisie titles, with a third currently on the cards.

De Boer, who won five league titles and the Champions League over a nine-year spell with Ajax, was full of praise for his fellow countryman, telling talkSPORT: I think he’s a great coach.

Of course, he doesn’t have the experience of the Premier League or a club of the magnitude of Manchester United with players like [Cristiano] Ronaldo. He’s quite a down to earth guy and he can handle that.

He will want to control everything from the training ground to everything around the club.

He is very much involved in everything. What Guardiola also does with City, we normally say in England a manager and look from above and not really on the pitch, but he is going to be on the pitch like Guardiola. He is really like a coach.’

This will be music to the ears of United supporters who will be hoping that Ten Hag can have a similar impact to Guardiola who has won eight major trophies with the Citizens over the last four years.

Ten Hag did in fact work under the Spanish manager while at Bayern Munich and appears to have picked up a few tips and tricks from his former boss.

Asked about what style of football Ten Hag will play at Old Trafford, De Boer added: He will want to set his style and ideas on the pitch.

I think you always have to look at the team you are at and what type of players, we call it weapons, you have. If you have two great strikers then you play with them if they combine well, or two great wingers then you play with wingers.

The intensity is to have high pressure on the ball and put pressure on the last line of defence and from there create chances.

It will be offensive, that’s for sure, as that’s what he learned as a second coach at Bayern Munich and with Ajax. I don’t think he’s going to change suddenly with five at the back.

It is difficult to say who is going to stay and who is going to leave. You imagine he is going to change like eight people.

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