Rio Ferdinand explains six-point plan for Erik ten Hag at Manchester United


Manchester United great Rio Ferdinand has detailed a six-point plan he would like to see Erik ten Hag install when he steps into the breach at Old Trafford next season. Ten Hag was appointed by United on Thursday morning as he prepares to spend the rest of this campaign at Ajax – chasing a third Eredivisie title in four years.

Moving forward, the 52-year-old has an almighty challenge on his hands to restore former glories at United. Here’s everything Ferdinand said about his plan for him during an analysis piece for BT Sport before the 3-1 defeat against Arsenal.

Setting the culture

“You talk about the six points and the main one is settingtling the culture. I have spoken about it for months. Having an area when players are made accountable. You need consequences. I don’t think as though there is a fear factor for those players that think, if I do anything or step out of line, or I don’t adhere to the tactical strategies, there is not a fear factor that someone is going to come down on them. “

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Improve recruitment

“Recruitment is obvious. How many have come in and improved? How many have come in and you say they are a perfect match? I haven’t seen enough of that. Ralf Rangnick has been here and played a role. On one hand you can say he has been really honest and that is refreshing to see, but is he elevating himself from having his fingerprints over such a period where the amount of wins you expect him to get hasn’t materialised? to do, but I think open heart surgery is a step too far. I think there needs to be a clear playing style. Coming in to a football club and not knowing how your team is going to play is criminal.”

Clear playing style / Developing players

“As a manager, you have to get those players that don’t run around and that is not their best asset, you have got to get them doing that. Over at Man City we are seeing Bernardo Silva [and others], Thiago now at Liverpool. They are not players you associate with hard work but, when you watch them play, they get around that pitch and they put pressure on people and make sure you can’t come off the pitch and fire it at them they aren’t working hard enough.”

embrace youth

“I believe the message from above has to be you have time… we have patience… we believe in youth. History at this football club tells you that we play kids, whether that’s in Europe or not. I hate going back to Sir Alex Ferguson, but it’s a fact, all through those years and the [Sir Matt] Busby years they were challenging in Europe to win things and young players were introduced. Don’t tell me it can’t happen. It can, but you need time – and the manager needs to be given that time, too.”



Erik ten Hag will take over as Manchester United manager at the end of the season.

Structural reset

“I’m confident the work is being done behind the scenes and I’m confident the manager is going to get time. There’s data which has been calculated and worked at, or looked at, for the person that comes in – which is Ten Hag – to go out there and do the job Yes, concentrate on the football pitch, but he will have to say, I’m sure, in the recruitment, which I think is vitally important, because you can’t have any club buying these players or recruiting players and the manager doesn’t know about it. That is a key part of it, because recruitment has let this club down over the last ten years and been a main problem for Manchester United.”



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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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