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“He’s got a tough job on his hands” – Teddy Sheringham on Erik Ten Hag appointment

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“He’s got a tough job on his hands” – Teddy Sheringham on Erik Ten Hag appointment

It’s no secret that Manchester United are in desperate need of a rebuild, a challenge which has been taken on by former Ajax manager Erik Ten Hag, and one which ex-United striker Teddy Sheringham predicts will be a tough assignment. 

Sheringham, who played for United between 1997-2001, had previously stated that he favoured the appointment of the outgoing PSG manager Mauricio Pochettino, he said: “I don't know an awful lot about Ten Hag, but he's got a tough job on his hands.

"The scale of the job at Man United is huge and I felt that, at this moment in time, United needed someone that knows and has experience of the Premier League, which Ten Hag doesn’t have.

“He will not know all his players inside out yet. He doesn't know how fast it's going to be or the intensity of the League. It can take managers and players six months to come to terms with it.

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"There’s a chance that United may be in limbo until the break for the World Cup as he is learning about the Premier League on the job.

“He'll be speaking to people that have had the job previously. I’m sure he’s already spoken with [Louis] van Gaal, but it's a huge job.”

Sheringham did however seem to back the Dutchman, saying: “Obviously, he's a good manager. Manchester United have done their homework, and they're hoping he's going to do good things and I would wish him all the best.”

Erik ten Hag has a big job ahead of him at Manchester United. (Alamy)
Erik ten Hag has a big job ahead of him at Manchester United. (Alamy)
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Sheringham would also touch on Ten Hag’s decision to appoint former England boss Steve McClaren as his assistant. 

McClaren, who was Sir Alex Ferguson’s assistant from 1999-2001, has previously worked with Ten Hag at FC Twente, where Ten Hag was McClaren’s assistant, with the duo winning the Eredivisie title in Holland in the 2009/10 season. 

Sheringham said: “McClaren will help him understand the ethos of Manchester United and its history, while also leaning into his experiences of winning things alongside Sir Alex.

"Sir Alex always let his players know that it was an honour for them to play for United and what United means to the people and the city of Manchester.

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“He would speak about the Busby Babes, the legends that played for the club. These are powerful things and bring people together. United runs deep and Steve understands that. And he will make sure that the players, if they don’t already, understand that too.

“It's hard for ten Hag to understand that right away. Steve will help him - he has been part of United’s history.”

Steve McClaren at Manchester United. (Alamy)
Steve McClaren at Manchester United. (Alamy)

Additionally, as a player under Ferguson, Sheringham knows a thing or two about discipline. 

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He would’ve witnessed the famous ‘hairdryer’ treatment dished out by Fergie, and with it being rumoured the Ten Hag will look to implement discipline at the club in the model of Sir Alex, Sheringham commented: “I think that it would be very good for ten Hag to instil some discipline at the club, but I think it's very difficult to do that nowadays.

“It’s hard to rule with an iron fist and modern players don’t respond well to it. Sir Alex would always use discipline in the right way, and he would always get a response. He didn't just fly off the handle to anyone, he picked his targets carefully and he always knew when to act.

"He had a sixth sense and he knew when to dish out a bollocking. He knew the hair dryer would also have an affect on the other players that heard it. 

“If Ten Hag goes in there as the new manager and starts shouting and hollering at people in their faces, he will have to pick his targets carefully because if he picks the wrong player they will respond in the wrong way.”

Featured Image Credit: Alamy

Topics: Manchester United, Football, Erik Ten Hag, Premier League, Mauricio Pochettino

Callum Owen
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