News From Manchester: Erik ten Hag’s criticism of Pep Guardiola is a good sign for Manchester United

Manchester United fans have seen before how Ten Hag isnt afraid of firing criticism the way of fellow pros. He had watched on as former Ajax star Donny van de Beek was outcast first by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer then Ralf Rangnick.

Refusing to stay neutral on the issue, he said United were committing a mortal sin over their treatment of the midfielder. Their new boss once worked alongside Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola while he was managing Bayern Munich, but now he will become his rival and foe across the red and blue divide.

In 2020, Ten Hag praised the Catalan coach for the work he was doing at City but did not refrain from pointing to one mistake his former overhead made during his debut season. Speaking to Voetbal International, he said: “Only once in his career has Pep made a mistake in his first year at Manchester City when he completely underestimated the power and speed of the Premier League.

He realised that you can't play the kind of football he loves without having a couple of physically strong athletes and so he brought them in.

He added: “So he's not a stubborn coach. Yes, he is stubborn in his philosophy, but not in the execution. And that makes him the best. Nobody will ever forget Guardiola.

“He has won so many trophies for a start but it is mainly about how his teams play. Guardiola only wants to win games with beautiful football, just like his teacher Johan Cruyff.”

Aside from the fact that he had a pop at a City manager, United fans will be pleased to hear these comments ahead of Ten Hag's Premier League debut. He recognised even then that top-flight football in England is a different beast to that played on the continent.

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