Erik ten Hag takes aim back at Jose Mourinho – and Man United's transfer business – as he tries to shoot down former boss's claim that he's only post-Fergie manager 'to get the players he wanted'
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Erik ten Hag takes aim back at Jose Mourinho – and Man United's transfer business – as he tries to shoot down former boss's claim that he's only post-Fergie manager 'to get the players he wanted'

May 8, 2024
  • Jose Mourinho claimed he did not have the same level of support as Erik ten Hag 
  • Ten Hag has hit back by claiming Mourinho was able to land his transfer targets 
  • It’s that time of the season! Who are the top five players of the season? Listen to the It’s All Kicking Off! podcast

Erik ten Hag has bit back at Jose Mourinho‘s jibe over not being given the same level of support by Manchester United‘s board as the current under-fire manager.

Mourinho, who was fired at Old Trafford in 2018 after a two-and-a-half-year spell, suggested that Ten Hag has been given more backing by the hierarchy than he had and believes results would have improved under him had he been trusted.

Out of work after his Roma dismissal earlier this year, Mourinho, who won the Europa League and the Carabao Cup at United, told The Telegraph that his rapport with former Red Devils CEO Ed Woodward had made his job more difficult.

Ten Hag, however, has hit out at the ‘Special One’ by claiming that he is the only manager after Sir Alex Ferguson‘s retirement to have got ‘the players they wanted.’ 

‘Apart from Mourinho, the manager didn’t get the players they wanted, and that is what you need,’ Ten Hag said in an interview with ESPN Brasil.

Erik ten Hag has hit back at Jose Mourinho's jibe on support from Man United's hierarchy

Erik ten Hag has hit back at Jose Mourinho’s jibe on support from Man United’s hierarchy

Mourinho said Ten Hag is the only boss post-Sir Alex Ferguson to get the players they wanted

Mourinho said Ten Hag is the only boss post-Sir Alex Ferguson to get the players they wanted

‘I am confident we will achieve our goals, but it is a tough competition [the Premier League]. It is not a two-horse race anymore.

‘There are seven, eight who all go for the title, who all have very good squads. So, if you want to go to the title, you have to construct that squad.’

During his rollercoaster tenure, Mourinho was given the green light to splash almost £90million on Paul Pogba and also brought in striker Romelu Lukaku for £75m.

Ten Hag, on the other hand, has spent big on the likes of Antony, Rasmus Hojlund, Mason Mount, Casemiro and Andre Onana – many of whom have struggled this year.

With United currently eighth in the top flight, Ten Hag’s future at United looks bleak. The club have also missed out on Champions League football and this could trigger part-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe and new CEO Omar Berrada to make a change. 

The Special One, who was sacked at United in 2018, spent around £90million on Paul Pogba

The Special One, who was sacked at United in 2018, spent around £90million on Paul Pogba

Zlatan Ibrahimovic also arrived and helped Mourinho win three trophies in his first season

Zlatan Ibrahimovic also arrived and helped Mourinho win three trophies in his first season

Hojlund arrived for around £72m from Atalanta

Winger Antony joined from Ajax but has struggled

Ten Hag has spent big on Rasmus Hojlund (left) and Antony (right) during his tenure

But after openly revealing he had missed out on both Harry Kane and Frenkie de Jong, Ten Hag claimed that patience is needed for his project to come to fruition. 

‘You need outstanding players,’ Ten Hag said. ‘Otherwise, you are in a process and you have to be patient. That is where we are now. 

‘We went for players who have high potentials, and we have to develop them, as individuals and as a team. But you need patience with the process.’

The Dutchman is continuing to prepare for next season and has already cast his mind forward to begin planning for the summer transfer window. 

United are thought to want to make three significant signings ahead of the next campaign and Ten Hag is particularly keen to draft in two new centre backs.

‘I think every manager wants players with winning attitudes, great mentality, big personalities to perform under stress,’ Ten Hag said. ‘That is what every manager is looking for. In this club, it is extremely important to perform under stress.’ 



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