Ferdinand says Ten Hag is ‘risking’ his reputation by joining Man Utd with ‘culture’ reset sorely needed

Rio Ferdinand believes Erik ten Hag is ‘risking’ his reputation by joining Manchester United and says his former side are in need of a ‘culture’ reset.

Ten Hag is set to be announced as the club’s next permanent manager after a verbal agreement in principle was reached with the Ajax boss, with an official announcement expected following the Dutch side’s KNVB Cup final with PSV this weekend.


The 52-year-old has impressed at Ajax to lead the side to two Eredivisie titles and the semi-finals of the Champions League in 2018/19, but Ferdinand believes Ten Hag is now ‘risking’ his reputation with a move to a side where managers with more experience have been ‘chewed up and spat out’.

Ferdinand insisted the ‘first’ thing on Ten Hag’s agenda should be changing the culture at United, with recent seasons having been plagued with rumours of dressing room unrest as the current squad have failed under a succession of different managers.

“I’ve got to take my hat off to him because this is a risk. Many managers have been spat out here and he has good stock in the game at the moment,” Ferdinand said on his Vibe with Five show.

“He’s valued and looked at as a very good coach and he’s coming in and he’s risking that.

“We’ve seen many managers now with far more experience, who have won much more than Ten Hag, bigger reputations, who have come in and been chewed up by this football club and spat out. And the players are still the same.

“So he has to find a way of getting in there and managing the characters, the personalities and the egos that are in there. And I know I sound like a broken record but the thing he has to do first is change the culture, bring the new culture and drive it. He has to do that, it’s a massive part of if he’s going to be successful.”

Ferdinand believes Ten Hag’s past experience at Bayern Munich can aid his adaptation at Old Trafford, having worked with the German’s second side during Pep Guardiola’s reign at the Allianz Arena.

“He has been at the background at a big club – Bayern Munich are a huge club, one of the biggest in the world,” Ferdinand added. “He was in the building at Bayern Munich when Pep was there.

“And most importantly he has been around big players, sat in the background and watched – seen how they are handled by Pep and his staff and seen how they react to certain situations. So he has the experience of being around big players.”

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