Ten Hag: United's Challenge, Players' Struggles | Sportsmonks

Ten Hag: United’s Challenge, Players’ Struggles

Ten Hag

Erik ten Hag, the manager of Manchester United, has shed light on the demanding nature of playing for the prestigious club, suggesting that some players struggle to handle the immense pressure associated with representing the Red Devils. Despite recent loan moves for players like Donny van de Beek and Jadon Sancho, Ten Hag emphasizes that joining Manchester United remains a formidable and rewarding challenge for any footballer.

The Manager’s Perspective

As the January transfer window unfolds, Erik ten Hag has authorized significant moves, including Donny van de Beek’s loan to Eintracht Frankfurt and Jadon Sancho’s anticipated return to Borussia Dortmund. While these transfers may raise eyebrows, Ten Hag maintains that the challenges faced by high-profile signings are not solely the club’s responsibility.

Manchester United’s Unrelenting Pressure

Ten Hag acknowledges the unparalleled difficulty of playing for Manchester United, attributing it to the intense pressure that accompanies every match. He highlights that the Premier League, particularly at Old Trafford, presents a unique challenge due to the high expectations and scrutiny. Despite this, Ten Hag contends that, for those with confidence in their abilities, joining Manchester United represents the pinnacle of football challenges.

Player Accountability and Character

The Dutch manager emphasizes that the success of a player at Manchester United depends on various factors, including the individual’s character and personality. While some players may struggle to cope with the pressure, others thrive on the challenge. Ten Hag underscores the importance of self-confidence in navigating the demanding environment at the club.

Jadon Sancho’s Struggles

Jadon Sancho, once touted as one of Europe’s most promising young talents, has faced challenges in maintaining his form since joining Manchester United two-and-a-half years ago. Ten Hag acknowledges Sancho’s dip in performance and reveals that the 23-year-old, who had a public fallout with the manager, spent four months in exile at the club. The English winger’s struggles have also resulted in him losing his place in the England national squad.

Donny van de Beek’s Journey

Donny van de Beek, who earned a spot on the Ballon d’Or shortlist before his £35 million move from Ajax in 2020, has also faced setbacks at Manchester United. Despite excelling under Ten Hag during their time together at Ajax, injuries and a subsequent struggle for recovery prevented Van de Beek from reaching the same level at Old Trafford. The decision for a loan move was influenced by a combination of injuries, strong competition, and the player’s limited opportunities.

Managerial Decisions and Player Contracts

Ten Hag provides insights into the challenges faced in managing player contracts, pointing out that agreements and competition for positions play a crucial role in determining playing time. He explains that Van de Beek’s loan move was considered in the summer but did not materialize. The manager highlights the complexity of juggling player contracts and the need to balance the squad.


In the dynamic world of football, Erik ten Hag’s comments offer a glimpse into the intricacies of managing a top-tier club like Manchester United. The pressure, expectations, and individual player journeys contribute to the complex landscape of one of the most iconic football institutions in the world. As the transfer window progresses, the club’s strategy and player dynamics continue to evolve under Ten Hag’s stewardship.

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By- Sahiba Suri

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