Man United stars are warned Erik ten Hag is 'highly demanding'

Man United stars are warned Erik ten Hag is ‘highly demanding’ but WILL build a ‘winning environment’ by one of his former players at Utrecht… yet fans are warned it could take ‘three to four months’ for his methods to work

  • Erik ten Hag’s announcement as Manchester United manager is expected soon
  • Willem Janssen played for the Dutchman for two-and-a-half years at FC Utrecht 
  • The FC Utrecht skipper says Man Utd’s players should expect changes

Manchester United’s players have been warned to expect a ‘highly demanding’ culture under incoming manager Erik ten Hag. 

Willem Janssen, who played under ten Hag for two-and-a-half years at FC Utrecht between 2015 and 2017, said that his former coach revolutionised that club and expects the Dutchman to do the same at United.   

Speaking to the Mirror, Janssen, who captains FC Utrecht, said that the Dutchman taught the players at the club to be much more professional and this rubbed off in their performances.

Willem Janssen played for Erik ten Hag for over two years at Dutch club FC Utrecht

He said: ‘He’s very professional, he’s highly demanding. He demands everything from a player. He creates a winning environment, every detail is key. 

‘When he came to Utrecht, the mentality changed. It needed some time, three or four months, before the mentality of all the club and the players changed a lot because of him. 

‘He taught us to be more professional, more active, more concerned about your own development and the team’s development. In a way, he was a very complete manager.’

The Dutchman is expected to take over at Manchester United in the summer 

Taking inspiration from Pep Guardiola’s training methods, Ten Hag is said to also be an exponent drawing lines on training pitches to make players more aware of space and key areas of the pitch. 

Janssen said: ‘There were many more lines and everyone was asking: “Eh? What’s this?”

‘And then he talked about half spaces, to learn how to be more compact as a team. It was a moment where we didn’t know what was going on, but he explained and we used it a lot in training sessions.’

‘After his arrival, the results improved, we finished fifth, fourth and fifth. For the club, it was a very successful period,’ he added. 

Willem Janssen said Erik ten Hag changed the culture of FC Utrecht after his arrival

With the announcement of ten Hag’s employment at United imminent, Janssen believes the time is right and his former coach will be a success at the languishing club. 

He added that the Ajax boss, who reached the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2019 and won the Eredivisie title twice, ‘deserves’ to make a big step abroad. 

Janssen added: ‘From next year on, if he makes the move to Man United, I’m really curious to see what he can do there and if he change their way of playing. Hopefully, he can get them playing the way he had Ajax playing.’


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