Connect with us


Erik ten Hag tells Jason Wilcox to look at two Man United players for proof of his “game model”



| Last Updated:


Credit: Hays/Sky

Erik ten Hag has told Manchester United’s new technical director, Jason Wilcox, to look at two bright young stars for proof that the club has a “game model”.

One of the main criticisms of Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United side is that they do not have a distinctive and effective play style like the top three teams in the Premier League, Arsenal, Manchester City and Liverpool.

With the arrival of Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS, many moves have already been made off the pitch with the signing of Omar Barrada from bitter rivals City as the club’s new CEO, the pursuit of Newcastle United’s Dan Ashworth for the position of sporting director and Jason Wilcox moving from his role at Southampton to join the Red Devils as their new technical director.

It has been said that Wilcox’s first task in his new job is to assess the squad’s ability and whether or not Ten Hag is the right man to implement the play style that INEOS want to see United play.

The Dutchman has reiterated that he has put in place a successful “game model” and in a recent interview with Sky Sports and ex-United captain Gary Neville has gone on to explain how.

“There is a game model here”, said the 54-year-old. “How do you think [Alejandro] Garnacho and Kobbie Mainoo are able to come up? That’s because it was one of my objectives from the previous leadership team to bring that in.

“It was already going, they were already improving he academy. You can see they won the FA Youth Cup, the academy teams are becoming champions and that is the structure that was laid out a couple of years ago.

“Now you see some revenues from it, and the best is by bringing players [into] the first team like Kobbie and Garnacho.

“They are players who are very young and are already internationals for England and Argentina. They are at a quite good level and one of the best players in this moment in their nations and they are world-class nations.

“They bring in the levels required, but we need more from such players because football is going very quickly. Developments are going very quickly so you can’t stand still, you have to make new improvements all the time so that function of a technical director, working on a game model, is the right choice.

“There is base here and the proof is there as well.”

Although there have been several reports about the future of Ten Hag and the influence that Wilcox’s audit on his position has, the manager has described a positive relationship between the pair.

“Initial meetings are good… now we have to take things quickly because the summer is coming. It’s a very important period where you come into a window. We want to make the next step into our squad and make plans to create an environment that avoids this year’s problems in injuries.”

This transfer window is the first with Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS in charge of sporting operations and the club are expected to be very active in both arrivals and departures in the hope of achieving their desired game model.