Football News

Erik ten Hag warned he cannot rely on “Dutch mentality” to be a Premier League success

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 10:46, 14 August 2022

Ruud Gullit believes under pressure Manchester United coach Erik ten Hag retaining a “Dutch mentality” way of doing things will only make his life in the Premier League harder.

Ten Hag became the first Red Devils boss John Chapman in November 1921 to lose his opening two games in charge. Following a narrow 2-1 home loss to Brighton on Premier League opening weekend, the 13-time English champions suffered a humbling 4-0 defeat on the road at Brentford, which consequently leaves them sitting bottom of the league table for the first time since August 1992.

Pressure is mounting on the former Ajax manager who became United’s fifth permanent managerial appointment since 2013 when legendary figure Sir Alex Ferguson stepped down. So far this summer Lisandro Martínez, Tyrell Malacia and Christian Eriksen have joined the club with last season’s top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo reportedly seeking pastures new. Ten Hag is now among the favourites to become the Premier League’s first coaching casultity this season.

Next up is a daunting showdown with Liverpool and Gullit — the Premier League’s first-ever Dutch coach when he took charge of Chelsea in the mid-1990s — believes Ten Hag’s preferred style of football will only be a hindrance and that he needs to change the way he wants his side to play in order to survive in English football’s top division.

“Erik ten Hag is a good coach but if you come with just a Dutch mentality it is difficult. You have to adapt yourself and understand you don’t win games only with football,” he said.

“You need power as well. You need power. You need technique. You need stamina. You need the right mentality. In midfield you need players who can play and who can work will get balls off the opposition. If you don’t, if you only want to play it’s difficult.

“You saw it in the first game in the Premier League, Fulham made it difficult for Liverpool and that’s why we love the Premier League. There are no easy games, that is what you have to understand. You have to work hard every day and also have the right players to do so.”