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Erik ten Hag must ‘step up or lose the dressing room’ at Manchester United, says ex-Chelsea star who warns Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo


Erik ten Hag has been told he must impose his authority in the Manchester United dressing room or risk failure at Old Trafford.

Ajax expect the Red Devils to make the Dutchman their next manager, talkSPORT have understood.

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Ten Hag set to become Man United’s next manager

The Eredivisie league leaders are anticipating a formal offer from the Red Devils to pay the £1.7million compensation needed to release Ten Hag from his contract.

Along with Mauricio Pochettino, the Dutchman was seen as one of the favorites to succeed caretaker boss Ralf Rangnick, and he now appears to have beaten the former Tottenham boss to the job.

Man United are desperate for the appointment to see them finally return to competition for the Premier League title after a fruitless run since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.

However, Ten Hag has a tough challenge to rebuild the club.

They seem far from certain of securing a place in the Champions League next season and have players out of contract this summer like Paul Pogba.

But given what he achieved for the Dutch side, going through two league titles, two cups and a run to the Champions League semi-finals in 2018/19, Ten Hag certainly has potential.

Erik ten Hag must ‘step up or lose the dressing room’ at Manchester United, says ex-Chelsea star who warns Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo

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Ten Hag’s side are currently top of the league, four points clear of second-placed PSV with six games to play.


And speaking on Thursday’s talkSPORT breakfast, former Ajax and Chelsea defender Mario Melchiot gave insight into what he is, but warned Ten Hag he could find himself in a hard situation.

“Two years Ajax invited me to go to Miami to meet the first team and I sat down with them,” the former right-back said.

“Talking to him he was very, very nice, and I’m not an Ajax player, but as a person he really made me feel welcome.

“With a conversation, I could go a long way with him in terms of talking about football and how his philosophy is about football.

Erik ten Hag must ‘step up or lose the dressing room’ at Manchester United, says ex-Chelsea star who warns Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo

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Ten Hag developed many players at Ajax, including Donny van de Beek, who is currently on loan at Everton

“The way Ajax play is always the same, we play football, we keep the ball, and the team dictates the tempo and we dictate everything.

“A bit of what Man United are used to when they were in top form.

“The only difference is that now, and I’ll be honest, the Eredivisie of Holland is not the Premier League.

“Why? Because you demand a lot more, tactically and technically he will establish the structure according to what the team [will] expect.

Erik ten Hag must ‘step up or lose the dressing room’ at Manchester United, says ex-Chelsea star who warns Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo

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Ten Hag’s side also score for fun after finding next 83 times in 28 games so far

“And right now when I look at Man United they look like a lost team.

“So that will be his job, because I don’t think they look like a solid team and who knows what they’re doing.”

Asked by co-host Gabriel Agbonlahor what Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes can expect, Melchiot said Ten Hag wouldn’t choose a team just because of a big name.

“It’s a bit like our system in the Netherlands, when you come to a team like Ajax, you’re in control and you choose the players you want,” he added.

Erik ten Hag must ‘step up or lose the dressing room’ at Manchester United, says ex-Chelsea star who warns Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo

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Two of the club’s greatest players could be called upon to wake up under Ten Hag

“I don’t know Ajax other than that, so I don’t expect him to do anything else.

“The only way for us [players] respecting the coach is if the coach is responsible and is a true leader.

“The moment we feel there is a hole that as an individual you have to drill into, you will lose the dressing room.

“And when you lose them, it’s over, that’s why he has to speed up on day one.”

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