Michael Owen backs Erik ten Hag to be Manchester United's next manager
Michael Owen believes Ajax boss Erik ten Hag is the right man to become Manchester United’s next permanent manager.
United’s hunt to appoint our next permanent manager continues and both ten Hag and Paris Saint Germain manager Mauricio Pochetinno are two names that have been constantly linked with the post.
Ralf Rangnick is the club’s interim boss until the end of the season before the German moves upstairs into a consultancy role which he will fulfil for two years.
Speaking after United’s 1-1 draw against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League last-16 first leg, Owen and Rio Ferdinand were asked on BT Sport where they feel Manchester United should go next when appointing their next manager.
Owen said: “How many times have we been down this road. I mean since Sir Alex they’ve gone out and got the best man available every single time – Moyes, van Gaal, Mourinho.
“They’ve had so many great managers and let’s be honest none of them have really cracked it. Yes, they won the League Cup and the Europa League, things like that, but come on – none of them have really cracked it.
“With the resources they’ve had, money they’ve spent, the quality they’ve had – everything about that club is built on winning and none of them have got it right.”
When asked whether ten Hag would be the right man, Owen said: “I think he’d be fantastic.
“I think Manchester United need someone that has got a structure – this is how we’re going to play come rain or shine.
“I still watch Manchester United and I still haven’t got a clue what they’re trying to achieve. I just watch them and I’m left scratching my head after every single game.
“There is just something missing at Manchester United.”
Ten Hag’s Ajax drew 2-2 in their Champions League last-16 first leg at Benfica last night. The Dutch giants sit top of Eredivisie, five points clear of PSV Eindhoven, with 70 goals from 23 games. But ten Hag’s side have only conceded a measly five league goals so far this season.
Ferdinand believes that the Red Devils need a strong man manager who isn’t afraid of having some frank conversations with some of the club’s biggest names.
Ferdinand said: “Manager is important. I didn’t think so until Sir Alex Ferguson left. You could see the manager had been there and run the place from top to bottom and they [manager] set the tone, culture, philosophy, everything is from the manager – it drives them and filters down from him.
“Manchester United are missing that and they need somebody to come in and also be strong because that dressing room needs a strong manager – they’ve seen off far too many managers.
“They need someone who can go in and deal with the strong personalities and characters, and to really break it down to some people ‘that you might not be as good as you think’, ‘can you do what I need you to do because if you can’t I’ll find somebody else’.
“Those are the type of tough conversations that the best managers have and they’re comfortable in those situations.”