Manchester United legend Garry Neville has claimed that Erik ten Hag would be 'overachieving' if he wins a trophy or two in his first two seasons at Old Trafford. According to the former right-back, the newly-appointed United manager just needs to secure Champions League football and attract high-quality players in the next couple of campaigns.
On Thursday, Manchester United officially appointed Erik ten Hag as their new permanent manager. The Ajax boss will remain in the Netherlands until the end of the campaign before taking charge of the Red Devils this summer.
Currently going through a five-year-long trophy drought, United fans are eager to see a change in the club's fortunes under the Dutch tactician. Neville, however, is choosing to keep his hopes grounded, claiming that Ten Hag winning a trophy in the next couple of years would be an overachievement.
Speaking on Sky Sports, he said:
“I wouldn't be putting too much pressure on Ten Hag in the first one or two years to win a trophy at the club. It would be great if he did and he'd be overachieving, in my opinion. It will be: get into the top four, re-establish Man Utd in the Champions League, attract the players into the club who can play in the way he wants to play, and then get a system of belief.”
He also pointed to how Jurgen Klopp needed a few years before winning the Premier League with Liverpool. Neville urged everyone not to expect a league triumph under Ten Hag in the immediate future, explaining:
“It took Jurgen Klopp four or five years to win a Premier League title, as great a job as he's done. I wouldn't be putting pressure on Ten Hag in the first two or three years to win a Premier League title. They're a million miles away from that currently. So initial phase: build the foundations of what he wants to achieve then year three, four, five is when you start looking at him to win trophies.”
An unpredictable Manchester United face a spirited Arsenal on Saturday
Sitting three points behind fifth-placed Arsenal, who have a game in hand, Manchester United will face the Gunners on Saturday (23 April). Mikel Arteta's team are coming into the match on the back of a massive 4-2 win at Chelsea on Wednesday (20 April). The Red Devils, on the other hand, were hammered 4-0 by Liverpool at Anfield on Tuesday night (19 April).
On paper, the scale leans heavily towards the Gunners, but Ten Hag’s appointment could complicate proceedings for the north London outfit.
Any player who wishes to remain at Old Trafford beyond this season will try and use the remaining games of the current campaign to audition for the Dutch manager. To save themselves from the massive clearance sale that might take place this summer, Manchester United players need to prove their worthiness.
And there is hardly a better way to do that than performing in the biggest matches. We will not be surprised if a rejuvenated Manchester United turn up at the Emirates and spoil Arsenal's party.
Moreover, a win over the Gunners will significantly boost United's chances of finishing in the top four and play Champions League football next season.
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