Erik ten Hag, Manchester United manager, recently revealed that he was advised against taking up the role at Old Trafford. The position was deemed an "impossible" job due to the challenges it presented. Despite this warning, Ten Hag chose to take on the task and has since faced a turbulent start to his second season with the club.
Erik ten Hag, the Dutch manager of Manchester United, said:
"Everyone was telling me, 'you can't succeed in that job'. They said it was impossible. Me? I wanted the challenge," the 53-year-old told the United We Stand fanzine.
"I knew it wouldn't be easy, but it was such a great club with such a great fanbase.
"People love Manchester United, or they are against Manchester United. I like clubs like this. Ajax was like this."
Manchester United has had a rough beginning in their Premier League season with six defeats in their first 15 games. This shaky performance puts them in a precarious position as they struggle to qualify for the Champions League knockout stages with only one group game remaining.
Despite these setbacks, there have been glimmers of hope. United managed to win four out of their last six games which revived their hopes for a top-four finish. However, Ten Hag's team remains unconvincing both on and off the pitch.
In an impressive turn of events, Manchester United secured points from a top-half opponent of Premier League table for the first time this season by defeating Chelsea 2-1 at Old Trafford. This victory came amidst reports of dressing-room disharmony following Saturday's disappointing defeat at Newcastle.
Post-match, Ten Hag insisted that despite having endured their worst start in six decades and various off-field problems, things were never at crisis point as perceived from outside Old Trafford.
The Dutch manager also all but ruled out any possibility of signing a player in the January window
The upcoming Christmas and New Year period promises interesting developments for Manchester United fans. Sir Jim Ratcliffe's investment into the club is set to be finalized next week - just before January’s transfer window opens.
However, despite an unsteady start to his tenure and looming financial backing from Ratcliffe’s investment, Ten Hag does not believe that Manchester United will make significant purchases during this winter window.
Erik ten Hag added:
"I don't think [we will spend a lot], As a club, you have to look for improvements, so if you can find better and it's realistic financially and with Financial Fair Play, the club has to go with it.
"But most of the time you don't attract the best players in the winter."
Erik ten Hag's journey at Manchester United has been marked by turbulence and challenges. However, recent victories and the potential for financial investment offer a glimmer of hope for the future. As Ten Hag navigates through these testing times, fans will be eagerly watching to see how he steers the club towards success in the coming months.