Home » Erik ten Hag’s former assistant offers an insight into the mind of the Manchester United manager

Erik ten Hag’s former assistant offers an insight into the mind of the Manchester United manager

by Conner Botterill

Manchester United’s sticky opening to the new season has heaped unexpected pressure on manager, Erik ten Hag.

After a successful debut campaign which included a Carabao Cup trophy, an FA Cup final and a third place Premier League finish, fans were expecting further progression in the Dutchman’s second term.

However, a mix of injuries and loss of form from high profile stars have led to United losing over half of their games in all competitions.

As reported by by The Sun, Ten Hag’s former assistant Aron Winter has offered a glimpse into the psyche of the United boss, starting with his strict and structure coaching style.

“He is a very good coach, but also very strict and very structured. He is always thinking how to win, how to damage an opponent. He showed that last year. He won a trophy.” he said.

Winter feels United’s extensive injury list is the reason for the team’s underwhelming performances so far and added that although Ten Hag won’t be enjoying the criticism he is facing, he will be fully focussed on turning fortunes around.

“His problems now are injuries and a start to the season that was not so good.

“When he gets criticism, he doesn’t like it, but he knows what he is doing. If you listen to everything it makes you crazy. He has that quality to close his ears and work,” said the former Dutch international.

Winter added that Ten Hag also suffered a difficult spell in Amsterdam but the board stuck by their man and allowed him the time to do his work, reaping the rewards as a consequence.

“When Erik arrived at Ajax, he found the first six months very difficult. The fans were not happy with him, but we had a very strong board who helped and supported him a lot,” he said.

The pair worked closely together at Ajax and having been at the club from player to coach, Winter believes having the club DNA running through the staffing structure is key to success and feels that Ten Hag might be missing such support United.

“I was already working at Ajax and he asked me to join his coaching staff. I used to be at the club as a player and it is very good to have the DNA from the club in your staff.

At United, Erik should have those voices around him too. He has Steve McLaren as an assistant and Sir Alex Ferguson watching on, but maybe that is not enough,” added Winter.

Winter is currently in charge of lowly CONCACAF nation Suriname and hoping to guide them to to their first World Cup, in 2026.

Ten Hag’s next assignment is a trip to Goodison Park to face a scorned Everton side after the Premier League’s decision to deduct Sean Dyche’s men 10 points for breaking Profitability & Sustainability Rules.

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