Connect with us


Exclusive: Ex-Man United midfielder offers insight into the real stress Erik ten Hag is facing



| Last Updated:


Former Manchester United midfielder Gordon Strachan believes that Erik ten Hag is handling the media scrutiny well under intense stress at Old Trafford.

The Dutch manager has had a difficult time since joining Manchester United ahead of the 2022/23 season.

United finished third in the Premier League last season and won their first trophy since 2017 with a 2-0 victory over Newcastle United in the Carabao Cup final.

Since then, Ten Hag has struggled to find form with United, despite reaching the FA Cup semi-final with last weekend’s 4-3 win over Liverpool.

The Red Devils are currently sixth in this season’s Premier League, having been knocked out of the Champions League and Carabao Cup early in the season.

Speaking to UtdDistrict, partnered with OLBG, former United midfielder Strachan detailed how Ten Hag is holding a good poker face when speaking to the media and why that side of the job is important.

He said: “I think Erik ten Hag knows that Manchester United are quite a bit away from the three leaders, he has been a good manager so far because he’s intelligent.

“But what he’s thinking and what he’s saying to the media is a completely different thing.

“As a manager, you don’t get paid fortunes to go and coach these players and work with them and turn up at the wonderful training facility in a stadium where millions of people adore you and people in the world. You do that for nothing.

“What you get paid for is the stress that comes with the game and to deal with the media and the stress and all the rest of it.

“As a manager, you never, ever let the players see you’re turning against them or doubting them.”

Ten Hag has had to deal with inconsistency on the pitch during his time as manager, leading to many questioning his role with the club. However, it remains clear that his squad are still fully behind him, partly because of his actions in front of the cameras.

Ten Hag has also overseen difficult situations off the field since joining the club, involving players such as Mason Greenwood, Cristiano Ronaldo and, most recently, Jadon Sancho.

Any one of these situations would be a lot for a manager to deal with on top of their responsibilities on the pitch, but to deal with all three of them in just two seasons is something that the United boss certainly deserves credit for.