“Feyenoord were steady this year, but not top” - Manchester United boss Ten Hag aims cheeky dig at new Liverpool manager Arne Slot

Erik ten Hag appeared to downplay Arne Slot
Erik ten Hag appeared to downplay Arne Slot's success with Feyenoord this season.

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has aimed a dig at new Liverpool manager Arne Slot ahead of their potential renewed rivalry. The under-fire Red Devils boss argued that Slot's former side Feyenoord were second best to PSV Eindhoven on all accounts in the Eredivisie this season.

Ten Hag spoke after somewhat surprisingly guiding United to FA Cup glory in a 2-1 win against Manchester City (May 25). He suggested Feyenoord were undeservedly earning plaudits for this past season under Slot (via The Mirror):

"People have been going overly lyrical about Feyenoord. Feyenoord were steady this year, but not top. PSV Eindhoven were two classes better in all areas. In terms of dominating the ball, in terms of putting pressure, in terms of intensity, you name it."

Slot has succeeded Jurgen Klopp on a three-year deal and will take charge of the Merseysiders for pre-season after Euro 2024. He oversaw 97 wins in 148 games at De Kuip, winning the Eredivisie title in 2023 and the KNVB Cup this season. PSV beat Feyenoord to the title this season by seven points which Ten Hag alluded to.

Ten Hag will reignite a rivalry with Slot from his time at Ajax if the Dutchman remains at Manchester United. The club's new co-owners INEOS are overseeing an end-of-season review and deciding whether to keep him in charge.

Erik ten Hag insists Liverpool are in a better state than Manchester United were when he took over

Erik ten Hag has won two trophies in two seasons at Manchester United.
Erik ten Hag has won two trophies in two seasons at Manchester United.

Ten Hag also touched on Slot's arrival at Liverpool by comparing the Anfield giants' situation to that of Manchester United's. He claimed that the Red Devils were 'a mess' when he succeeded Ole Gunnar Solskjaer two years ago (via the source above):

"Jurgen and (assistant) Pep Lijnders have left behind a strong foundation. He (Slot) comes into a better position than I did at the time when I went to Manchester United from the Netherlands."

He added:

"In terms of structure at the club, in terms of balance in the selection. Last year they (Liverpool) had a transition in the team. Then guys like Fabinho and Jordan Henderson left. Last season at Liverpool, they also had a bit of the year we had now, with a lot of injuries."

Liverpool finished third this season and will return to the UEFA Champions League. They also won the Carabao Cup and were in a three-horse title race for most of the season but slipped up in April.

Ten Hag arrived at United with the club finishing sixth and failing to qualify for Europe's elite club competition. He oversaw a third-place finish and a Carabao Cup triumph in his debut season but his side finished eighth this past campaign.

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