Rio Ferdinand explains why Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United tenure has been tougher than Jose Mourinho’s

The Dutchman has had to contend with an array of difficult challenges and obstacles since picking up the baton from Ralf Rangnick last summer. Through it all, however, he has made an outstanding start to life at Old Trafford.

After making the brave decision to axe some big-name players from his starting line-up for the 2-1 win over Liverpool back in August, including Harry Maguire and Cristiano Ronaldo, the former Ajax boss then had to deal with the unprecedented situation caused by Ronaldo&aposs bombshell interview with Piers Morgan prior to the World Cup. The 37-year-old slammed United and Ten Hag in his sit-down chat with Morgan, prompting the mutual termination of his contract.

Ten Hag, too, also chose to go public with his decision to drop Marcus Rashford for the 1-0 win over Wolves at Molineux on New Year&aposs Eve, confirming he had named him on the bench for disciplinary reasons. Rashford later confirmed he had overslept and missed a team meeting.

Ten Hag has refused to shy away from making bold and brave decisions, something he has earned praise and support from United&aposs fans for doing. And for former Reds ace Ferdinand, they have been difficult situations for him to work through.

“Not many managers have had to deal with what Ten Hag has had to deal with in this early part of his tenure,” Ferdinand told the Vibe with Five podcast. “Ronaldo, a superstar in the world, that was a massive, massive situation that he had to deal with. Then he brought the Rashford situation public. He also went and got players, spending big-money, and that brings its own pressure.

“Harry Maguire, too. That was like &aposGet out, you&aposre out of the team&apos. They are big decisions that can swing one way or another for you, based on results as well.”

One of Ferdinand&aposs podcast co-hosts likened the situations Ten Hag has had to overcome to those that faced former Reds chief Mourinho, pointing specifically to the challenge of managing Paul Pogba. Ferdinand, however, had none of it.

“You cannot say that Mourinho&aposs situation was harder than Ten Hag&aposs,” he added. “There was no problem with Pogba until Jose came; there wasn&apost a personal problem.”

For clarity, Mourinho was already the United manager when Pogba joined the club for a second time in 2016.


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