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Jaap Stam Calls On Manchester United To Back Erik ten Hag

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Jaap Stam Calls On Manchester United To Back Erik ten Hag

Some know more than others about what it takes to be successful at Manchester United, and Jaap Stam is certainly one of the some. 

The big Dutch centre-half may have only been at the club between 1998 and 2001, but in those three years he was a key player in a United team that three-peated the Premier League and became the only English football club to pick up the fabled treble in 1999.

Sir Alex Ferguson even considers selling Stam his greatest mistake.

Now Manchester United are looking to return to those trophy-laden days of old, and Stam has endorsed new boss and compatriot Erik ten Hag.

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Jaap Stam and Erik ten Hag face off as managers when Ajax played Feyenoord in October 2019. (Alamy)
Jaap Stam and Erik ten Hag face off as managers when Ajax played Feyenoord in October 2019. (Alamy)

Speaking to The Guardian, Stam said, “We all know what he can do and what he has done over in Holland with Ajax. Hopefully he can do the same now with United.

“Obviously, there are certain things that will need to be there for him to help him, maybe in terms of different players and personnel. But I think he’s done a good job in Holland.”

Stam went on to speak about the cultural differences between Dutch and English football, stating that “In Holland, we always say that every player in every position needs to be able to play football, so a centre-back needs to be able to dribble forward, to be the extra man in midfield, to have that pass. We try to educate players to be able to do everything.”

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Stam then mentioned how Ten Hag can learn from one of Sir Alex’s great qualities, which was the ability to identify which players he needed for each specific position, detailing “At United, one of Fergie’s qualities was bringing players in of a certain ability who could do things well in their position; then if they go well together, you’ve got a chance of doing very well. He got the right players for the right positions.”

Jaap Stam was a favourite under Sir Alex Ferguson. (Alamy)
Jaap Stam was a favourite under Sir Alex Ferguson. (Alamy)

Stam finished off by speaking a little about his own managerial career, and about what it takes to be a top manager.

Recalling his time in management, he recounts “When you go into management at a certain level, it’s not only about teaching players how to play or how to kick a ball.

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“It’s also how you need to address them, how you need to approach them and how you get them to see your vision so they believe in it and believe in you and are willing to work hard for you.”

These words are particularly applicable to Ten Hag, it is imperative that from the very start he gets the players on side and that they buy into his vision and plan. Tactically, Ten Hag is clearly amongst Europe’s elite, but he requires collaboration from his players in order for this to translate onto the pitch.

Erik ten Hag's management style centres around tactical cohesion. (Alamy)
Erik ten Hag's management style centres around tactical cohesion. (Alamy)

He will also require upgrades in many areas of the squad, particularly midfield, and comments from CEO Richard Arnold indicate he will be backed to build his own squad.

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Manchester United are set to start their era under Erik ten Hag with the 2022 pre-season tour, which kicks off in Bangkok on the 12 July against Liverpool.

The club will then travel all the way to sunny Australia to face off against Melbourne Victory, Crystal Palace and Aston Villa, before finally flying back to play Atletico Madrid in Oslo on 30 July and Rayo Vallecano the next day at Old Trafford.

Although the final pre-season match against Rayo Vallecano will technically be Erik ten Hag’s first match at Old Trafford, the Dutchman doesn’t officially kick off his stint of competitive football with the club until the following weekend.

He will be sat in the Theatre of Dreams dugout to face Brighton & Hove Albion on the opening weekend of the Premier League season.

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Manchester United, Erik Ten Hag, Ajax, Football

Yusuf Haq
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