Louis Saha issues warning about how Manchester United’s players could respond to Erik ten Hag

Former Manchester United striker Louis Saha has expressed doubts about whether the current members of the United squad would know who Erik ten Hag actually is.

The Ajax head coach, along with Paris Saint-Germain chief Mauricio Pochettino, is currently one of the frontrunners to become the club’s next permanent manager. The Dutchman has been sounded out by United as a leading candidate and is already proving to be a popular choice amongst the supporters.

Since landing the Ajax job in December 2017, he has put the Dutch giants back on the European football map. Whilst he has guided them to two domestic league titles, he also guided them to within seconds of the final of the Champions League in 2019.

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Furthermore, Ajax have continued to impress in Europe this season, with Ten Hag’s style of play and philosophy central to their achievements. Despite his recent achievements by him, former United striker Saha has his doubts about whether or not the 52-year-old could deliver the goods at Old Trafford.

“He has the quality for sure, the Dutch people are very knowledgeable about football,” Saha told the Metro.

“But I’m sorry, it is a different animal. Ajax is a trampoline for big clubs. They are respected in world football but they are not in that league. This is not Milan or Real Madrid.

“I am sure that most of the players would not know him. Managing this club is a different thing. We have seen some big names come in and they didn’t make it.

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“Jose Mourinho is one of the biggest in world football, he brought results in terms of winning trophies but we claim it was an unsuccessful spell.”

Whoever United do install as their next manager, it will be a decision that needs to be nailed to perfection. With that said, Saha believes Sir Alex Ferguson, who is reportedly a big fan of Pochettino, ought to be listened to when United come to make their final decision on who becomes Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s permanent successor.

The former United striker added: “If I am a board member or someone involved in this club I will always respect [Ferguson’s opinion]. The only one who really has the right to give advice is that guy.

“He knows and understands the position better than anyone. He will definitely try to do the best in terms of that recruitment.

“We all make mistakes. This job is not easy, it is a new era, there are different types of players, different types of agents around them.

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“It is a really tough position and Manchester United is a different animal compared to other clubs. I have great respect for Paris Saint-Germain and the job Mauricio Pochettino is doing and also did with Tottenham but United is a different animal.

“We need a manager to address the points we have been missing. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer did great in terms of rediscovering some quality going forward. But that aggressiveness this club needs is not there.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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