Erik ten Hag determined to return glory to Man Utd alongside Cristiano Ronaldo

Erik ten Hag is excited to be working alongside Cristiano Ronaldo and is determined to bring Manchester United back to glory – a success the Glazer family have shared in the new manager they want and expect.

The nine years since Sir Alex Ferguson retired has seen more lows than highs at Old Trafford, where the Dutchman has become the sixth manager to take the hotseat since the Scot retired as champion.

United have not launched a sustained Premier League title bid since then and former Ajax boss Ten Hag is looking forward to the challenge of putting the 20-time champions in contention for major titles again.

“Manchester United is a big name,” the Dutchman told the PA news agency. “It’s a real challenge to get them back where they belong. I’m highly motivated to do this.

“We want to win every game and it doesn’t matter who the opponent is.

“I think that’s part of Manchester United’s status and that’s what we’re going to do. That will be the demand on the team and on every player.”

United have not won a silver since 2017 and Ten Hag is taking over at a time when fan anger at the owners is palpable.

Furious over debt, dividends and perceived mismanagement, thousands of fans protested against the Glazer family during the final home games of last season.

Asked if he’d asked the owners for reassurances and spoken to the Glazer family, United boss Ten Hag said: “Yes, I’ve spoken to them.

“They told me that they want to be successful and that’s the only thing they want. That’s what they expect from me to bring success.”

Ten Hag sees frustrated star Ronaldo as an important part of this quest for stardom.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s return to United did not go according to plan (Gareth Fuller/PA)

(PA wire)

The 37-year-old made a surprise return to Old Trafford last summer but an impressive campaign at an individual level couldn’t stop the Red Devils from falling home in sixth place.

The lack of Champions League football this season has not pleased Ronaldo who, it has recently emerged, has asked to be allowed to leave if an acceptable offer arrives.

A family issue meant he missed United’s pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia, but Ten Hag has again underlined that Ronaldo is pursuing his vision for the season ahead.

“It’s clear – he’s not for sale,” he said after training in Melbourne. “I (had) planned with him and look forward to working with him.

“But I can’t say more about the rest because the situation is still the same as last week.”

It will be interesting to see how Ronaldo fits into Ten Hag’s pressing style, as well as the squad’s ability to adapt to that approach after interim boss Ralf Rangnick struggled to implement it last season.

“I can’t talk about the past,” said the meticulous and demanding Dutchman. “All I know is that I have my ideas on how to bring structure to a team and I do that in every football issue.

Erik ten Hag tries to mold United in his image (Sakchai Lalit/AP)


“Pressing is an important factor for me. If you want initiative in a game, I think it’s necessary. Doing this in a high block or in a low block is a tactic that can work both ways.

“I prefer to do it in a high way, in high pressing, but that won’t always be the case. There are also situations, games, where you are lower. But what I ask of my team is that they press.”

Another important part of Ten Hag’s plan revolves around midfield.

The ongoing pursuit of Barcelona’s Frenkie de Jong is well documented and the manager believes United must develop a player of this form if they cannot buy one.

“I think we already have good midfielders,” said Ten Hag. “I’m very happy with the signing of Christian Eriksen and he will strengthen the midfield.

“But this type of player that you describe (in De Jong) I think is necessary in the squad.

“Obviously we have players who can fill it in and we will if we don’t find the right player. Then we will develop a player in this position.”

Denmark international Eriksen signed a three-year deal on Friday and became United’s second summer signing after leaving Feyenoord left-back Tyrell Malacia.

Lisandro Martinez is set to become the next acquisition, with Ajax revealing they were selling the defender for an initial €57.37m (£48.8m) plus €10m (£8.5m) in potential additions.

“I think Christian Eriksen brings creativity to the squad and he will play in attacking midfield,” said Ten Hag.

“I think he can also play in a lower position. I think he’s really experienced, experienced from different leagues – Italy, Holland and especially I think England.

“So he’s going to bring a lot to the team in that regard and bring our kind of possession but I think outside of possession as well.

“Martinez, this is a player I call a warrior. He brings aggressiveness and is a South American (character). He will add to the team and I think the fans will love it.”

Ten Hag is excited to be working with Martinez again and has no doubt the 5ft 9 centre-back will handle Premier League physicality.

“He’s a strong guy and tackling is one of his skills,” he added.

“And his motivation is really high and he will also bring this motivation to the team.” Erik ten Hag determined to return glory to Man Utd alongside Cristiano Ronaldo

Fry Electronics Team

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