Man Utd boss Ten Hag told to ‘keep your mouth closed’ as he shows ‘naivety’

Joe Williams
Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag shouts instructions at his players

Former Liverpool defender Steve Nicol thinks Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag showed his “naivety” during a recent press conference in which he revealed his captain.

Ten Hag took over as the new Red Devils manager at the end of the season after interim boss Ralf Rangnick could only lead them to sixth position and a place in the Europa League.

There were rumours of discontent, cliques and a ‘toxic’ dressing room at Old Trafford last campaign and one of the first issues for Ten Hag to address was the captaincy.

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The Dutchman announced earlier this week that Harry Maguire will remain as captain with the decision getting a mixed reaction on social media.

When asked who would be the captain under his management, Ten Hag replied: “Harry Maguire is the captain.

Ten Hag added: “Of course, I have to get to know all the players and it takes time. But he is an established captain for a few years. And he has achieved a lot of success, so I don’t doubt about this issue.”

But ESPN pundit Nicol thinks he should’ve kept those details close to his chest until nearer the start of the season with it showing “a little bit of naivety”.

“When you are the coach and you are at the press conference, you don’t answer anybody’s question,” Nicol told ESPN. “You don’t, you tell them what you want them to know.

“You don’t answer questions, you don’t be open and honest. He has shown a little bit of naivety here, answering questions openly and honestly. He has got no obligation to tell them anything other than whatever he fancies telling them. Keep your cards close to your chest, tell them nothing, get through your press conference and move on.

“All they are doing is loading their guns with ammo, so three games into the season it’s ‘Why did you make Harry Maguire captain when you knew he was rubbish last year?’

“I am sick of saying it, keep your mouth closed, get through the press conference, tell them nothing because it is easy. Somebody is going to have to have a word in his ear, because it is going to come back and bite him that’s for sure.”