Former Liverpool and Man Utd forward Michael Owen doesn’t think Ten Hag is an elite coach
Owen was asked on the Kelly and Wrighty show on Optus Sport about Erik ten Hag’s appointment as the Red Devis’ new manager.
The former England forward seemed underwhelmed by United’s decision, claiming the Dutchman isn’t on the same level as elite managers such as Klopp.
As per Rousing the Kop, Owen said on Ten Hag:
“Based purely on CV it doesn’t strike me as ‘wow, that’s the next Manchester United manager’. You look at his wins, but it is in the Dutch league and it is being the manager of Ajax. I think if you swapped Jurgen Klopp and the Manchester United manager, I think give it two or three years and you’d be seeing similar performances from the Man United players that you see from Liverpool players.”
“Bear in mind the thoughts we all had about Liverpool when Klopp took over and some of the players. They have all reached a different level and nobody will convince me a lot of these United players aren’t very good players.”
Manchester United aiming for long-term rebuild similar to Liverpool
When the German took over at Anfield six-and-a-half years ago, the Reds were languising in the Premier League. They looked a million miles away from competing at the very top.
Fast forward to today and Liverpool are in with a chance of securing a historic, unprecedented quadruple. They have already won their first league championship in 30 years in 2020, just a year after their sixth Champions League triumph.
That change in fortunes over the past half-decade has been partly down to some outstanding recruitment. However, it also has a lot to do with Klopp’s brilliant management of the team.
In stark-contrast, their bitter rivals are an absolute mess and look set to miss out on qualification for next season’s Champions League. They sit sixth in the Premier League table, three points off fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur. Spurs have played one less game and have a far superior goal difference over the Red Devils.
However, the general consensus from the Old Trafford faithful regarding Ten Hag’s appointment seems positive.
In his five seasons at Ajax, the 52-year-old has won two Eredivise titles and reached the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2019. Ten Hag’s side have impressed many across the continent. This is thanks to an attractive style of football and the development of exceptionally talented young players.
It will be interesting to see how long it takes him to bring the change to United if he brings one at all.