Erik ten Hag appears to be turning things around at Manchester United but one of his former players says he wasn’t very good “on a human level”.
Ten Hag arrived at Old Trafford in the summer and after a difficult start to the season which saw him lose his opening two Premier League games to Brentford and Brighton, he’s overseen four league wins on the bounce.
United were attracted to Ten Hag after the Dutchman’s success with Ajax, but his first taste of management came with DC Ultrecht, spending two years with them before joining the Amsterdam club in 2017.
Mark Diemers – who is currently on loan at FC Emmen from Feyenoord – was one player to have worked under Ten Hag in his first season with Ultrecht.
And in an interview with ESPN Netherlands (via Sport Witness), Diemers chose Arne Slot, manager of Feyenoord, as the best he’s worked under, claiming he was better than Ten Hag “on a human level”.
“I choose Arne Slot,” Diemers said. “I can only talk from my time. I found Ten Hag insanely good tactically, so were his training sessions. I just didn’t think he was very good at that time, on a human level. But that was already six or seven years ago. I thought Slot was a lot stronger on a human level.
“Look at what kind of clubs he has worked at, so he must also have qualities on a human level. I still have contact with him via WhatsApp. Then he also comes across as very friendly to me. He will undoubtedly have grown on a human level as well.”
United star Bruno Fernandes can attest to Ten Hag’s improvement and credits his new manager’s strict “style” for turning things around at the club.
“First of all, he has an idea,” Fernandes said. “He has a style. You have to follow his rules. He is strict on that. And I like that. He has brought discipline, which is something I think we missed in the past. Everyone must be on the same page.
“That is what Pep (Guardiola) and (Jurgen) Klopp have been doing for years, because they have stability in the club and in the way they choose the transfer market and build the team, which is really important for them to get the rewards.
“I saw the manager say in a press conference that we do not want to bring players just for the sake of it, we want to bring the right players for what we want to do. It is something the club needs.
“We still have a margin to improve and he needs time to get the most out of us with his idea of playing. I believe we will get to the point with him where we are established as a team and everyone is on the same page.”
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