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Erik ten Hag has emphasized that his strategy for Manchester United integrates the team’s identity and the strengths of his players, while also incorporating Ajax’s focus on passing.
This week, the manager of United gave an interview in his native language, Dutch. In the interview, he appeared to imply that his team did not have the same level of skill as his previous club, Ajax.
Ten Hag, whose team has suffered defeat in eight out of their 15 matches this season and has been accused of lacking a clear identity and playing style, has clarified that his statement was misunderstood. He stated that he is seeking a combination of both clubs’ qualities.
He was adamant that the explanation given was incorrect, as he believes the difference in players prevents him from playing like Ajax. He brought his own philosophy of possession to this team, while also incorporating the DNA of Manchester United and the abilities and personalities of the players. The results were evident as we played exceptional football last season.
Ten Hag insists that his tactic is not to rely on long passes, but rather utilize the speed and height of his forwards and the precise distribution of goalkeeper Andre Onana to overcome the opposing team’s pressure.
He stated: “Our goal is to be more direct, but the reasoning behind this is that I want to utilize long passes. However, I do not intend for Andre Onana to solely rely on long balls. Our usual strategy is to build up play from the back. However, if we are facing a high pressing opponent, playing direct can be a viable option.”
“I was referring to playing directly by pressing from various positions. This strategy is effective because we have players such as Rasmus Hojlund, Marcus Rashford, Antony, Bruno Fernandes, and Scott McTominay who excel at it. We also have the added benefit of Christian Eriksen’s passing ability and the involvement of our full-backs. This was my original plan.”
Ten Hag believes that United’s current struggles are not due to his game strategy, but rather the way his injury-ridden and significantly altered team is executing it, as they have already been defeated five times at Old Trafford this season.
He stated, “The purpose is evident, but it’s undeniable that the implementation is lacking. Currently, we have too many alterations every match, preventing us from consistently fielding the same lineup for two or three games in a row. We have to make substitutions.”
“We need to be victorious and I refuse to make excuses if we fail. We must be more practical, but ultimately our main goal is to win. I cannot ignore those expectations.”
The source of this information is the Independent website.