Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag has told his players that “good is not good enough” as he aims to bring “adventurous football” to Old Trafford.
The Dutchman began work at the Premier League club last Monday but following their final match of the season against Crystal Palace – which they lost 1-0 – he has finally been able to speak about his plans for the Red Devils.
Man Utd finished the season in sixth position after seventh-placed West Ham failed to take advantage of their slip on the final day and will now play in the Europa League next season.
Ralf Rangnick took over from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at the end of November after the Norwegian was sacked following a number of poor performances – but the former RB Leipzig boss failed to improve their fortunes and will now move into a consultancy role.
There have been rumours that there could be a complete overhaul of the current squad but, in his first interview as Man Utd boss, Ten Hag seemed to indicate he can get more from the current squad with hard work.
“That is what I expect,” Ten Hag told MUTV. “I have high expectations from myself and that is also what I demand from my squad.
“They have to co-operate together and they have to give every day their best. And I would say, for me, good is not good enough. We have to do better.”
Ten Hag is also keen to implement an exciting and attacking brand of football at Man Utd, he added: “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 to Ajax also – and the adventurous football.”
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) May 23, 2022
Speaking a few days ago, Rangnick bemoaned his failure to get Man Utd playing how he wanted them to during his short spell in charge.
Rangnick said: We never came near to that aggressive, pro-active football I’d normally want to do. It has to do with physicality if you want to play like that. I should have done better and developed this team in a more sustainable way.
“I am not blaming Cristiano [Ronaldo] at all, he did great in games, but he is not a pressing monster. Even when he was young, he wasn’t shouting, ‘The other team has the ball, where can we win balls?’
“It was the same with quite a few other players so we had to make compromises at one stage. We never found the right balance between what do we need with the ball and without the ball.”
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