Gary Neville hopes and expects Erik ten Hag to deliver a Premier League title by the fourth or fifth year in charge of Manchester United.
Ten Hag will arrive in the summer from Ajax and is tasked with bringing silverware back to Old Trafford following United’s struggles in recent seasons.
The Dutchman will be keen to offload some of the deadwood and bring in his own players and United legend Neville feels securing Champions League football needs to be the target in his first season before building on from there.
‘I said four to five years to win a title and I don’t disagree with Jamie’s timeline of Champions League in the first two seasons while he’s sorting the recruitment out and getting used to the club,’ Neville said on Sky Sports ahead of United’s 3-0 win over Brentford tonight.
‘Third season getting very close, I think to the point whereby the club have got confidence and won a trophy maybe.
‘And then that fourth year really is where they have to win a title, fifth year. That’s where I think really you’re looking at the moment realistically.
‘We all hope he comes in and blows everyone away and that Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola blow up somehow.
‘But they’re not blowing up are they? They’re achieving the same numbers of points year in year out so if their consistency remains, which there’s no reason to say it won’t then Ten Hag’s got a massive job to make up that points gap.’
With Liverpool and Manchester City way ahead of the rest in terms of quality, Roy Keane feels United need to improve their recruitment and bring in more leaders to the dressing room before competing with their rivals.
‘Whatever their problems, they have to look at where Man City are, where Liverpool are,’ Keane said.
‘Man City, Liverpool and these other teams aren’t going to take it easy over the summer. They’re going to reinvest, get players in and get stronger.
‘Klopp might stay on, Pep might stay on. It comes down to recruitment: getting the right players in and getting players out of the door, because the last few years just haven’t been good enough.
‘How many times can you say it? The biggest frustration for me, when they’ve had these disappointments, is the reaction they’ve shown. There’s been a real lack of leadership, not enough characters in that dressing room.’
Following a win over Brentford courtesy of goals from Bruno Fernandes, Cristiano Ronaldo and Raphael Varane, United remain sixth in the Premier League table.
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