Rio Ferdinand has dismissed a certain criticism of prospective Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag, claiming that the Dutch manager “understands what it’s like at a big club” due to his experiences at Bayern Munich with Pep Guardiola.
The Ajax manager was the head coach of Bayern Munich’s second team from June 2013 to May 2015 while Guardiola dominated the Bundesliga.
Ferdinand believes that those years, in one of the biggest clubs in history, will leave Ten Hag in good stead for his incoming challenge at Old Trafford.
“They play a really exciting brand of football, attacking.” The former United defender said on Ten Hag’s Ajax on his YouTube channel. “I’m sure he’s learnt a lot from Pep, he was in the building at Bayern Munich when Pep was there for two years, he was managing the second team.”
“So he’s been at a big club and I think that’s a lot of people’s (concern) ‘But he’s not been at a big club’. He’s been in the background of a big club, Bayern Munich are a huge club, one of the biggest in the world.
“He was there when Pep was there, who we consider I think universally as the best manager of this era, Klopp arguably will be in that conversation as well, but he’s been with one of the biggest players in the game as a coach.
These kinds of experiences are crucial for different reasons, one that Ferdinand highlighted is that the Dutch coach has seen how one of the best managers has dealt with some of the biggest egos in and around the training ground, which will be an important asset at United where others have failed before him.
“So he understands what it’s like at a big club with huge demands, something like what Man United will be like and most importantly, he’s been around big players. Yes, not as a manager, but he’s sat in the background and watched and seen how they’re handled by someone like Pep and his staff.
“He’s seen how they react to certain situations I’m sure, so he has the experience of being around big players and I think that a huge part of what he has to get right at Manchester United is going to be getting it right with players.“