Football News

‘Could be a Cruyff-esque wonder-manager’ – Conte and Hodgson react after Man United appoint Ten Hag

By Muhammad Butt

Published: 23:09, 21 April 2022

Antonio Conte and Roy Hodgson have given their opinion on new Manchester United manager Erik Ten Hag.

“You can’t deny the success that Ajax have had with [Ten Hag] and lots of other coaches before him,” said Watford boss Hodgson in his press conference. “They’ve had a succession of legendary coaches going back to Rinus Michels, Johan Cruyff, Louis van Gaal. You’re talking about a list of people, really, all of whom became recognised as some of the best coaches ever to grace our game.”

The former England manager went on to make a bold declaration about Manchester United’s new manager: “there’s no reason to believe Erik ten Hag – who [United] have obviously given due diligence in terms of their appointment – isn’t just as good as those three I’ve just named. And if he gets into that category of manager then they’ve got a wonder manager.”

Man United odds (2022-23 season)  Sky Bet
Premier League winner 22/1
Finish in the top four 1/1
Top half finish 1/10
Bottom half finish 11/2
Relegation 500/1
You have to be 18+ to gamble. UK only. All odds in the table above are accurate at the time of writing (07:45, 07/05/2022). BeGambleAware.

Hodgson’s enthusiastic support will have Manchester United fans salivating at the prospect of the Dutch coach bringing a Cruyff or Van Gaal level of excellence and influence to Old Trafford.

Spurs boss Antonio Conte was more reserved, reminding everyone of the difficulties of managing in England.

“Don’t forget that last season United were in second place and improve the squad with [Raphael] Varane, [Jadon] Sancho and [Cristiano] Ronaldo. They’ve improved the squad and have done worse than last season. It shows it’s not easy, particularly in England,” said the Italian.

“In England it’s a big job for every manager, the level is so high. When you’re at Man Utd the pressure is massive. You have to fight to win trophies. It’s not easy because other teams have the same idea.” And Conte, who won the Premier League in 2017 with Chelsea but left the club after failing to retain it the following season, would know about the pressures of managing in England.

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