Rio Ferdinand has backed Erik ten Hag’s credentials as a potential replacement for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as Manchester United manager.
Solskjaer’s position is under threat following an alarming run of form for the Red Devils, who have lost six of their past 12 fixtures across all competitions and dropped to sixth in the Premier League.
Convincing home defeats to Liverpool and Manchester City in successive league fixtures at Old Trafford have further increased the pressure on the Norwegian, who could face the axe should results not improve, with Watford, Villarreal, Chelsea and Arsenal to come in their four fixtures.
Ferdinand recently suggested that is was time for Solskjaer to pass on the managerial baton, and has now discussed the important attributes for any potential successor and believes Erik ten Hag – who has been linked with the position in recent months – has the experience of dealing with expectation levels at Ajax.
“For any manager coming in to a new club, it’s almost like you’ve got to show people why you’re there immediately,” Ferdinand said on his Vibe with Five show.
“I use Antonio Conte as a good reference point for that. Whenever he joins a new club, there is no negotiables and he tells them, ‘this is what’s happening, this is what I am – if you’re not with me you can go.’
“I think that’s the type of attitude and the type of mentality that separates the good managers from the top managers.
“You’ve got to be able to go in there and command a whole dressing room full of egos, big personalities, big characters. That’s the job of anyone coming in.
“Now I don’t know Ten Hag personally but he’s doing a fantastic job at Ajax.
“Let’s remember that Ajax isn’t a small club. They’re a massive club – the biggest club in Holland.
“Yes, it’s different and the landscape is different but it’s still a huge club that he’s got to work with and the expectation levels there every day are to win.
“That’s something that will be there every day and would be there if he was to come to Manchester United.
“Anyone who comes in, they’ve got to be able to deal with people. That’s the art of a fantastic manager.”