Erik ten Hag could ‘annoy’ Man Utd stars just like Ralf Rangnick, warns his ex-player
Erik ten Hag’s training have been deemed “annoying” by one of his former stars, Willem Janssen, but the same player called the newly-appointed Man United boss “simply the best”.
The Dutchman was announced as Man United’s new permanent manager on Thursday morning after agreeing a three-year-deal which will see him take the reins at the end of the season. The current Ajax boss, 52, has a huge task ahead of him with the Red Devils squad needing a full clear out.
And Willem Janssen, who played under Ten Hag at Dutch club Utrecht between 2015 and 2017, believes Ten Hag’s “annoying” training methods could make for a tough start at United. The 35-year-old defender claims some of United’s big personalities may be triggered, but that the manager is “simply the best”.
Janssen wrote in The Guardian: “His first sessions at Utrecht took some getting used to. He immediately demanded an extra training pitch, which the youth department was not thrilled with… he constantly stopped the game, which was annoying at the beginning.
“You were enjoying the game and then the whistle was blown again and Erik would say you were positioned wrong. But he also explained why you had to stand elsewhere. And then you thought: ‘Damn, he’s right’… Ten Hag’s simply the best.”
Another one of his former players, Sjoerd Overgoor, also highlighted his meticulous approach by saying: “He wanted the drinks put out in straight lines. Everything had to be perfect in his eyes. People needed time to get used to that.”
United’s recent history has shown their players have not always been kind or receptive to new coaching styles. Reports suggested after Ralf Rangnick’s appointment as interim manager in December that Red Devils stars were “struggling to adapt” to his training sessions, which lasted until 5pm.
The dressing room unrest has since escalated and resulted in a number of calamitous performances, including the recent 4-0 defeat to Liverpool. Ten Hag therefore has a massive task on his hands in managing United’s egos while attempting to implement his style of coaching.