Home ยป Erik Ten Hag will be a success at Manchester United, says Mikael Silvestre

Erik Ten Hag will be a success at Manchester United, says Mikael Silvestre

The former defender is hopeful United can conclude their transfer business in time to give the Dutchman the best possible chance of success

by Ayantan Chowdhury

New Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has quite the task on his hands after the English giants endured one of their most disappointing seasons in recent times. From finishing outside the Champions League places to accumulating their lowest-ever points total, whatever could go wrong did go wrong in the 2021-22 season. Former United defender Mikael Silvestre feels the biggest positive for the Dutchman is that things cannot get any worse and the only way is up from here.

The Red Devils finished sixth and will have to be content with a place in the Europa League in Ten Hag’s debut season. United, under three managers, shipped in a record number of goals but Silvestre feels the Dutchman will ensure none of these forgettable stats will be repeated this time around.

The former United defender told Mirror Football, “I think last season was a nightmare with the changing of the manager and finishing sixth. That was a real nightmare, so I don’t think [it can get worse]. I think the team will finish in a better position next season.”

The former United left-back feels the former Ajax boss has it in him to propel United to the top. The evidence can be seen from the Dutch champions have gone about their business under Ten Hag. Three Eredivisie titles, two Dutch Cups and a glorious Champions League semifinal run which included famous victories against European giants Real Madrid and Chelsea.

On top of that, the football that the fans witnessed was special due to its attacking nature and the prevalence of aggressive pressing, a trait commonly seen in successful modern teams.

“He won the league in Holland. Okay it’s Ajax, who have the biggest budget, but when they reached the semi-finals of the Champions League they played some very, very good football. The challenge for him is to repeat that with different players in a different league, so he is going to be tested.”

Imbibe the United ethos

Since Sir Alex Ferguson‘s retirement, the Old Trafford club have had seven managers walk through the hallowed doors. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was one of the only permanent managers to truly understand what makes the club tick and stand apart from others in the division. While in the end, his term could not produce the desired results in the form of trophies, it was the closest the fans felt since the legendary Scot’s time in charge.

The former France international feels Ten Hag should implement his own style but also make it a point to embrace the United way of working, something that will hold him in good stead with the fans in the long run and will afford him patience so that he gets time and backing to execute his vision.

“He didn’t just take the job for the sake of it, he want’s to achieve the objective. So I think it’s challenging, but for him, he will be given the time to work. It’s going to take some work.

“Erik’s been successful because he’s got his own personality and his own management style. I think for United you have to embrace the culture, so that’s something that he needs to do. The work methods he knows, he should to stick to. Stick with what you know best. But he has to embrace the culture and the heritage of the club. When you’re addressing the players, when you know what the club is about and the past it will help motivate them. For me, that’s key,” the former Arsenal man added.

Transfer inactivity & start of the season

The fixture list has not been kind on the new United gaffer. The 20-time champions will face Liverpool in just their third game with fixtures against Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester City and Tottenham lined up before November. On top of that, there has not been any incomings at the club despite a vast majority of players leaving at the expiration of their contracts. But Silvestre is not worried at the moment.

“It’s going to be down to how quickly you can bring new players in. If they can be in for the first day of pre-season, then that’s ideal. But if they sign later then that’s complicated, that’s for sure. They need to sign some players as quickly as possible. But before Erik’s appointment, it was difficult to move and to engage with players officially. Now they’ve got two or three weeks to get cracking.

“You’ve got to take the points and confidence before going into Liverpool, so Brighton and Brentford should be games where you establish yourself and regain confidence and apply what you’ve been working on in pre-season. So get the six points and then when you face Liverpool you are ready,” Silvestre added.

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