McClaren likens ‘outstanding’ Man Utd-linked boss to Sir Alex

Lewis Oldham
McClaren speaks on Man Utd

Steve McClaren has likened Erik ten Hag to Sir Alex Ferguson amid reports linking the Ajax manager with Manchester United.

The Red Devils are going to appoint a new permanent manager ahead of the 2022/23 campaign.

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Ralf Rangnick has been their interim boss since December but he is set to take up a consultancy role this summer.

Ten Hag is one of the managers they are looking at. He has helped Ajax win two Eredivisie titles since taking over in 2017.

The Dutchman was previously McClaren’s assistant during their time together at FC Twente.

McClaren has praised Ten Hag, suggesting that he is “very disciplined and outstanding tactically”:

“His great strength lies not just in his attention to detail and organisation. He has a clear philosophy of how he wants to play football; the environment he wants to create,” McClaren told The Telegraph.

“The player progression programme was a key part of Twente. He has done that at Ajax too, for each player from the academy to the first team. You look at Hakim Ziyech and now the [Brazilian] striker Antony, a very good player who will be the next one to go. I have seen this Ajax team and it’s very good.

“Erik is very disciplined and people have to buy into that and have that work ethic. Tactically he’s outstanding. He worked with Pep [Guardiola] at Bayern Munich and took in his philosophy too. They called him ‘Mini Pep’ out there.

“He’s ready. A lot of top clubs in Germany and England will be out to get him.”

McClaren added that Ferguson is the “only other [manager] I have seen” analyse games in as much detail as Ten Hag.

Elsewhere, Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl cannot understand why some England fans booed Harry Maguire during this week’s 3-0 friendly win over Ivory Coast

“At first it’s a pity when you win two games as an English manager to have to talk about such a question after the game,” said the Austrian.

“It’s sometimes something that disturbs me in football to be honest that you have to ask such questions after the game.

“For what reason somebody gets booed, I can never understand it. But this will happen.”