‘No spirit, no team dynamics, low mental toughness, fighting spirit that just wasn’t there’: Erik ten Hag gives his very candid verdict on what he played for at Man United – and why Casemiro is key to fixing it
- Erik ten Hag has arrived at Manchester United after the club’s dismal 2021-22 campaign
- He has revealed that he noticed a number of problems with the team right away
- Ten Hag believes players are soulless and lack mental strength
- United have started to turn things around this season under ten Hag
- The Dutchman believes Casemiro is key to fixing United’s dressing room problems
Erik ten Hag revealed the problems he faced when he arrived at Manchester United by claiming the club had “no soul” and lacked “mental toughness”.
The Dutchman joined United in the summer on the back of a disastrous season for his team, the Red Devils, as they finished sixth in the English Premier League, 13 points outside the Champions League places.
Ten Hag set the mood in the dressing room as he walked through the door at Old Trafford, admitting he had a lot of work to do to turn things around.
Erik ten Hag has claimed that Man United lacked spirit and mental toughness upon his arrival
United lost their first two matches to the Under 10 Haag as they were humbled by Brentford
‘There was no soul in it (the dressing room), I didn’t see any team dynamics in the squad,’ said Ten Hag. international football.
Mental toughness was very low. Fighting spirit, for each other, and putting the team first, it wasn’t really on this team. Changing the culture was the most important thing for me.
United made a terrible start to the season under Ten Hag, losing their opening game 2-1 to Brighton and a 4-0 defeat to Brentford, the latter a dismal 4-0 defeat on the road.
Ten Hag also had to deal with off-field issues as his relationship with Cristiano Ronaldo quickly deteriorated.
Ronaldo burst through the tunnel before the final whistle against Tottenham in October after being asked to come on as a late substitute, which led to Ten Hag being removed from the matchday squad for United’s upcoming match at Chelsea.
Ten Hag fell out with Cristiano Ronaldo, which led to the termination of the star’s contract
He reincorporated Ronaldo back into the squad, but the Portuguese star remained unhappy with the way he was treated and beat him up at Tin Hag and United in an interview with Piers Morgan last month.
During the interview, Ronaldo claimed he had “no respect” for Ten Hag and described United as a “marketing club”.
This led to Ronaldo terminating his contract by mutual consent after it was decided there was no way for him to return to Old Trafford.
Ronaldo’s comments suggested there were still problems in the United dressing room, but the team have turned a corner in terms of results since their humbling defeat at Brentford, losing just two of their last 12 league games.
The arrival of Anthony and Casemiro aided their cause in the final days of the summer transfer window to bolster the squad.
Ten Hag believes Casemiro can change the mindset in the United dressing room
Ten Hag believes the signing of Casemiro has proven to be the catalyst for United’s improvement in form.
The Brazilian midfielder won five Champions Leagues and three LaLiga titles during his time with Real Madrid and Ten Hag feels the winning mentality has spoiled the rest of United’s players and is beginning to change the culture of the dressing room.
“To have this (cultural change) in the dressing room, you need personalities,” said Ten Hag.
This is why buying Casemiro is so important. He can speed up the process because he knows what you need to do to win titles.
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