Manchester United’s players need to buy in to what new manager Erik ten Hag is doing or face being sold.
That’s the view of former Red Devils midfielder Luke Chadwick, who wants to see much more commitment from these players after a dire end to the season under interim manager Ralf Rangnick.
Man Utd lost 1-0 to Crystal Palace on the final day of the season, meaning they lost five of their final nine league fixtures, with just two wins in that period.
That’s far from good enough for a club of this size, and it will have been a stark reminder of the challenge Erik ten Hag is taking on at Old Trafford, with the Dutch tactician in attendance to watch that final game away to Palace.
“I’m sure he would’ve been disappointed, though it won’t have come as a big shock. I think he’ll look at that and think ‘I’ve got a massive challenge here to turn this around’,” Chadwick told CaughtOffside.
Still, Chadwick added that he thinks Ten Hag will relish the difficulty of this job, as it’s the chance for him to test himself on the biggest stage after his impressive achievements at Ajax.
“He’s done brilliant things at Ajax and now he’s coming to the best league in the world,” Chadwick said. “The reason Man City and Liverpool are so far ahead is because they’ve got the two best managers in the Premier League, and I think Ten Hag’s got the opportunity now to be amongst the greats and chase City and Liverpool.
“To become a world great he’s got to do it in a top league, so this is his opportunity to rebuild a club that’s slightly broken at the moment. Looking away from the negatives, he’s got huge potential and it looks like the club have got confidence in him. I think he’ll relish the size of this job.”
When asked about the current United players’ apparent lack of effort under interim boss Rangnick, Chadwick admitted that the attitude would now have to improve under Ten Hag.
The ex-Red Devil wants to see the players fully buy into what the Dutch tactician tries to do, and insisted any bad eggs would need to be shown the door.
“The challenge should be for the players to win him over,” Chadwick said. “Most of this squad have under-achieved this season, and nothing will ever be achieved if the culture at the club isn’t right. Everyone needs to be pulling in the same direction.
“It was always going to be really challenging for Ralf Rangnick to get his ideas across as an interim manager, but now it’s essential that everyone buys into what Ten Hag’s trying to do. If there are problems with egos, then the only way to rectify that is to ship those players out, and start afresh – work with the right players, make sure the environment is right.
“Because even if it’s just one or two bad eggs there’s never going to be success. Everyone at Liverpool and Man City buys into what the managers are doing.
“It’s the players’ responsibility to win the manager over, rather than the other way round. It’s not like this crop of players have been winning big trophies like the Premier League and Champions League for the last few years.”