Manchester United are ‘living in the past’ and Erik ten Hag was a surprise appointment in his home country, believes the manager’s fellow Dutchman Ruud Gullit.
It has been a difficult second season for Ten Hag at Old Trafford, struggling for performances and results in the Premier League and Champions League.
The Red Devils go to FC Copenhagen on Wednesday night in need of a result after losing two of their first three group stage games in Europe.
Gullit feels Manchester United and their fans need to adjust their expectations after a decade of decline as the good times are not coming back any time soon.
‘The best players don’t go to Manchester United anymore,’ Gullit told William Hill’s Up Front podcast with Simon Jordan. ‘They go elsewhere and now Manchester City, Liverpool and Chelsea have the best players.
‘United don’t have all of the top players, so to rule in the way that they did in the 90s is no longer possible.
‘Everybody around United wants them to be the best and they are living too much in the past. They have former players on television telling them that that’s the case which makes it difficult for a coach because they want those times to come back, but they won’t come back, at least not now.’
Gullit says Ten Hag’s appointment at Manchester United caused surprise in their home country and he wasn’t convinced the former Ajax boss was the man for the job.
‘I think he has a difficult task. He didn’t have a background which suggested that he would be able to deal with the pressures of managing Manchester United, so for United to pick him was a risk for the club as well as ten Hag himself.
‘He comes from the east of Holland, he talks in a different way to most people in the country, which meant that going to Ajax in Amsterdam was actually difficult for him, but he managed to do really well.
‘He was very calm and did his thing and he almost won the Champions League with Ajax, beating the likes of Real Madrid on the way.’
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