New Manchester United boss Erik Ten Hag has revealed he’s never seen a game at Old Trafford before.
Ten Hag has been a coach since 2012 and has worked at clubs including Bayern Munich and Ajax. But despite being 52 and growing up a United fan, the Dutchman has revealed he’s still waiting to make his debut at the ‘Theatre of Dreams’.
Ten Hag stepped foot inside the iconic stadium for the first time on Monday when he was unveiled to the media. When asked if he’d ever watched a game there he said:
No, but of course I’m looking forward to the first one.
The vibe that’s in the stadium. Of course, I want to get that experience. The fans behind the ambience at Old Trafford… it would be fabulous and I’m really looking forward to getting that experience.
We have to wait for that moment. But what supporters can expect is that I will give my best. I will give everything necessary to get Manchester United back where they belong.
Meanwhile, Ten Hag vowed to stop rivals Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp from dominating English football. United have not won the Premier League title since 2013 when Sir Alex Ferguson was still in charge.
Manchester City and Liverpool have shared the last five title wins to become the powerhouses of the domestic game and leave United trailing in their wake. But Ten Hag has warned them he can break the top flight monopoly of Guardiola and Klopp.
The Dutchman is convinced he can lead United to success and end the era of dominance of United’s most bitter rivals. When asked if he felt their dominance can be ended before Guardiola or Klopp leave their respective clubs, Ten Hag, who was unveiled at Old Trafford yesterday, said:
Yes, I think so.
I admire them both, Manchester City and Liverpool. They both play fantastic football. But you will always see an era come to an end. I’ve already met big coaches and big teams in the Premier League and I know how to deal with that
But it’s clear, the Premier League is the biggest league in the world I think and I’m looking forward to battling with them. We have to set clear purposes, you need people who have a positive attitude. When I have the idea, I will line-up my best team and get the best out of them to make them feel comfortable. It is about getting success together.
Ten Hag, meanwhile, refused to endorse United’s decision to hand predecessor Ralf Rangnick a consultancy role at Old Trafford next season.
Rangnick, who was interim boss for six months, has agreed a two year deal to move inside, but when asked about if he thought it would benefit him Ten Hag insisted it had been the club’s decision, not his.