Erik ten Hag can be a success at Manchester United if backed in transfer window, says Jaap Stam
New Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is facing a complicated and frustrating summer transfer window so far. With efforts being made to agree a deal for Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong and multiple players leaving the club, Ten Hag will meet a mixed squad at the start of pre-season. Former Man Utd defender Jaap Staam believes the club need to back the new manager quickly.
Erik Ten Hag of Ajax Amsterdam smiles during the Dutch Eredivisie match between Ajax and FC Emmen at Johan Cruijff Arena on May 2, 2021 in Amsterdam, Netherlands
Along with De Jong, Manchester United have also been linked this summer with Ajax defenders Jurrien Timber and Lisandro Martinez.
Stam believes that Manchester United will need to make changes to adapt to the way Ten Haag wants to play.
“In Holland, we always say that every player in every position needs to be able to play football. So a centre-back needs to be able to dribble forward, to be the extra man in midfield, to have that pass. We try to educate players to be able to do everything.
“At United, one of Fergie’s [Sir Alex Ferguson] qualities was bringing players in of a certain ability who could do things well in their position; then if they go well together, you’ve got a chance of doing very well. He got the right players for the right positions.”
It is clear that the three-time Premier League winner at Manchester United doesn’t believe that the current cohort of players at the club are capable of implementing Ten Hag’s style of play.
Jaap Stam in action against Bayern Munich
Image credit: Getty Images
However, Stam acknowledges the challenge that Ten Hag faces to approach and communicate with players who are now onto their eighth coach since Sir Alex Ferguson left in 2013.
“When you go into management at a certain level, it’s not only about teaching players how to play or how to kick a ball.
“It’s also how you need to address them, how you need to approach them and how you get them to see your vision so they believe in it and believe in you and are willing to work hard for you.”
This is a problem that every coach has faced since taking the job, most recently Ralf Rangnick, who was only a caretaker manager for six months but still faced the same issue of every manger before him.
Manchester United have had a big exodus of players already this summer with Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard, Edinson Cavani and Juan Mata all coming to the end of their contracts.
This may be the first step of progression, but Manchester United now look as though they need to accelerate their movement in the transfer market to keep pace with the rest.