Jose Mourinho’s ‘trophy’ claim may give Erik ten Hag a welcome boost ahead of Man Utd arrival

Ten Hag will take over as manager of Manchester United at the end of the season but the Dutchman faces a major battle to restore the Premier League giants to their former glory

Jose Mourinho has claimed Manchester United's aim is no longer to win trophies
Jose Mourinho has claimed Manchester United’s aim is no longer to win trophies

A statement from Jose Mourinho about the expectations of Manchester United’s hierarchy in recent years could give Erik ten Hag a welcome boost ahead of his arrival as manager.

Ten Hag will take over as the Red Devils’ next permanent boss after the final day of the season when United travel to Crystal Palace. The Dutchman’s arrival can’t come soon enough for the Premier League giants who have endured a terrible season.

Ralf Rangnick has done little to change his fortunes since replacing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, with United on course to play in the Europa League next year. An overhaul is badly needed over the summer window, one that is expected to be helmed by Ten Hag.

But many will also expect Ten Hag to find success as United approach a decade without having won the Premier League title. One of the main criticisms of Solskjaer’s reign was his lack of trophies.

However, if Mourinho’s revelation is correct, Ten Hag will not be judged by the same standards as his predecessors. The current Roma boss has hinted United’s goal is no longer “to lift trophies” after spending more than two years at Old Trafford from 2016.

“I think the problem with Carlo Ancelotti was that as Everton manager you are not going to win the Champions League. And with me, you know, people saw me taking jobs where they thought I could win trophies, but they weren’t jobs where we were expected to lift trophies,” he said.

Erik ten Hag will need time and patience to turn United’s fortunes around


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“But when you have such a successful career, so to speak, cyclically, you can expect that, people can say that. Personally, I’m not worried about that [being replaced by younger coaches]. I don’t think and focus on generations, I focus on quality.

“It’s about quality, motivation, passion. If you don’t have passion, you’re dead. Without pressure in the run-up to big games, you’re at the end. I know myself very well, I also know Carlito very well.

“But there are more examples that we could do. But we are the ones who will say it when we want to stop and I’m afraid people will have to wait a long time before I say it’s over!”

If Mourinho is right and United’s goals are no longer centered on silverware, it could be a crucial boost for Ten Hag. As a result, he will no doubt be less of a pressure as he is his rebuild of the Red Devils squad.

This gives him more time to get the overhaul right and lay the groundwork that could lead to longer-term success. Without the pressure of winning a trophy in his first season, Ten Hag would have the time he needs to finally begin the process of bringing the club back to their former glory.

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