Rio Ferdinand insists Erik ten Hag is doing a ‘fantastic job’ at Ajax as the Dutch manager continues to be linked with a move to Manchester United.
While the Red Devils are reluctant to sack current boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the team’s poor run – they have lost four of their last six games to slip to sixth in the Premier League – is testing the club’s patience.
Solskjaer replaced Jose Mourinho in the Old Trafford hot-seat almost three years and is yet to guide the club to any silverware, with Man United finishing second in the Premier League last season and losing the Europa League final to Villarreal.
A summer in which Cristiano Ronaldo, Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho all arrived at Old Trafford suggested Manchester United would challenge for major trophies this season, but they are already nine points adrift of leaders Chelsea and out of the Carabao Cup.
Manchester United considered replacing Solskjaer following the humiliating 5-0 defeat to Liverpool last month and, while a 3-0 win at Tottenham may have bought the Norwegian more time, the team suffered another humbling defeat last weekend, this time to rivals Man City.
If United pull the plug on Solskjaer, they could move for Ten Hag, who has led Ajax to two Eredivisie titles since joining the club in 2017, and guided the team to the semi-finals of the Champions League two years ago.
Last week, Ferdinand admitted it could be time for Manchester United to replace Solskjaer, and the Red Devils legend has now given his verdict on Ten Hag.
‘For any manager coming in to a new club, it’s almost like you’ve got to show people why you’re there immediately,’ Ferdinand told the FIVE YouTube channel.
‘I use Antonio Conte as a good reference point for that. Whenever he joins a new club, there is no negotiables and he tells them, “this is what’s happening, this is what I am, if you’re not with me you can go”.
‘I think that’s the type of attitude and the type of mentality that separates the good managers from the top managers.
‘You’ve got to be able to go in there and command a whole dressing room full of egos, personality, characters. That’s the job of anyone coming in.
‘Now I don’t know Ten Hag personally but he’s doing a fantastic job at Ajax. Let’s remember that Ajax isn’t a small club.
‘They’re a massive club, the biggest club in Holland. Yes, it’s different and the landscape is different but it’s still a huge club that he’s got to work with and the expectation levels there every day are to win.
‘That’s something that will be there every day and would be there if he was to come to Manchester United.
‘Anyone who comes in, they’ve got to be able to deal with people. That’s the art of a fantastic manager.
‘You’ve obviously got to get it right tactically but motivating people on a daily basis to produce the goods is a huge part of it.’
Following the international break, Manchester United will resume their Premier League campaign against Watford, who are currently 17th in the table, two points above the relegation zone.
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