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Stan Collymore claims Erik ten Hag is being set up to fail at Man Utd

Frenkie De Jong, Harry Maguire and Cristiano Ronaldo situations should all have been dealt with for the new boss ahead of day one of Man Utd’s pre-season training

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Erik ten Hag looks like he is being set up to fail at Manchester United before he has even started.

That’s the verdict of former Liverpool and England striker Stan Collymore, who reckons many if not all of the big issues that still needed dealing with at Old Trafford should have been sorted well before day one of pre-season. Collymore said: “Seeing Erik ten Hag drive into Carrington this morning, with coach Steve McClaren not far behind him, I couldn’t help thinking there’ll be a lot of mocking and tough times coming his way at Manchester United.

“That’s because I don’t see a man walking in and, like Jurgen Klopp, going, ‘I’m here, I’m ready, I’m laughing, but, do you know what? Beneath this jokey exterior I am going to change the nature of this club’.

“Instead, on the back of Richard Arnold’s trip to the pub to meet with restless fans from a supporters’ group, I see obvious briefings to certain outlets and journalists that, ‘Ten Hag has £100million to spend’. And if that figure is right and the majority of it is going on Frenkie De Jong from Barcelona, who doesn’t really seem to fancy Old Trafford, then excellent player that he is, it’s not going on someone who will take them nine, 12 or 15 points closer to Manchester City or Liverpool.

“It almost seems as if De Jong needs persuading with bigger wages and a bigger length of contract to go to Old Trafford as well. When he does arrive, he’ll say, ‘It was always United’, but I’m not convinced by that.

“If United have £100m to spend this summer then, what should have happened, was that everyone had sat around a table as soon as Ten Hag was through the door and gone, ‘This is our three-year trajectory, this is who we want in this window, next summer and so on. I guarantee those conversations are happening at City and Liverpool, and there will have been good communication between them and the clubs they want to buy from to let the know what’s coming. I just don’t see the good communication from United.

Frenkie De Jong doesn’t look to be falling over himself to play for Manchester United, according to Stan Collymore


Action Images via Reuters)

“They should be calling a Barcelona, in this instance, or a Bayern Munich, a Borussia Dortmund, and saying, ‘Look, we have a good relationship, we’ve had players moving between us before, so we’re just letting you know we want Frenkie De Jong to come here but we’re not willing to pay more than £50m, although there might be a player there as well’.

“Deals get done smoothly then, as City’s did with Dortmund for Erling Haaland. So we have a manager from day one who has been undermined, a budget that for where United need to go — and you have to think they’re serious about getting to second or a very good third place next season — isn’t even par for the course. I know Ten Hag has said he wants to work with Harry Maguire but you have a situation now where he has possibly had his head turned at the idea that Barcelona want him after being talked about in the De Jong deal.

“Remember, Maguire was a bit toxic last season and United players see him as a lightning rod for criticism. You also have Cristiano Ronaldo now being touted around Europe. So it’s all coming across as a bit of a circus that, on day one of pre-season, all those issues you would have wanted to have nailed down and got sorted haven’t been dealt with at all. As a result, it makes Ten Hag look as if he’s not quite adept already at dealing with such a massive football club and that worries me.”

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