Dutch legend warns Erik ten Hag of ‘terrible job’ ahead in dealing with ‘Class of ‘92’ pressure at Man Utd

Dutch icon Ruud Gullit has been outspoken about the influence of ex-United stars turned pundits.
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The announcement of Erik ten Hag at Manchester United has been welcomed by fans hoping next season will be memorable for all the right reasons.

The Dutch manager is set to replace Ralf Rangnick  - who will take on a consultant role - at the beginning of July, in preparation for the 2022/23 season.

The former centre-back has led Ajax to the top of the Eredivisie for a number of years and the Red Devils will hope he can bring some of the magic seen in the Netherlands to the Premier League when he takes over at Old Trafford.

There will be a huge amount of expectation forced upon ten Hag within moments of him entering the doors, and many have already been quick to voice their views on his new role.

Neville for United in 2008 - he will likely mount pressure on ten HagNeville for United in 2008 - he will likely mount pressure on ten Hag
Neville for United in 2008 - he will likely mount pressure on ten Hag

One is former Dutch icon Ruud Gullit who has warned the new United boss to listen to the ‘Class of ‘92’.

Gary Neville has already offered comments on Sky’s The Overlap, saying it will be a ‘massive jump’ from Ajax to United, and ten Hag will come under much more scrutiny from the opinionated pundit when he takes the helm.

What has Ruud Gullit said?

Gullit has spoken of the prevalence of former United players in the media, such as Gary Neville, Rio Ferdinand, Roy Keane, Paul Scholes and Owen Hargreaves, all of whom enjoy sharing their opinions and do regular stints in the pundit boxes.

The opinions of United icons hold much weight and Gullit reckons it does add to the expectation of any United manager.

Gullit for Chelsea in 1995Gullit for Chelsea in 1995
Gullit for Chelsea in 1995

While ten Hag has had experience with one of the bigger clubs in Europe, the attention Ajax receives will in no way matches the spotlight at Old Trafford, and Gullit has spoken to Voetball International to warn the 52-year-old of the pressure this will bring: “Is it the right choice? That has to be seen. They also want to play the football he plays, but it’s going to be a really terrible job,” he said.

“There are all these former players in the TV studios: Gary Neville, Rio Ferdinand, Paul Scholes. There is constant pressure on the team, that is not easy. Know what to expect, it’s a huge job.”

So far, Jamie Carragher is among the other pundits to have weighed in with an opinion on the appointment.

What has Jamie Carragher said?

The Sky Sports pundit and columnist said: “Is the appointment an admission from Man United it will take time to get back to the top? I doubt Manchester United are automatically writing off next season or the year after.

“They’re Man United, I’m sure they’ll spend big in the summer. You think of the players they’ve brought in this summer: Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane. They weren’t buying these players to compete in the top four, they were going for the title.

“Of course, you’ve got Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola, and the teams Liverpool and Manchester City have will be tough to catch next season, but I don’t think Manchester United ever go into a season writing it off and saying they’re not going for the title.”

When asked about the big personalities in the dressing room, Carragher said: “He’s got to make brave decisions. I’ve said for a long time in that Manchester United dressing room you’ve got to take out some of those big names and start from afresh with a new, young, energetic team to try and compete with Guardiola and Klopp.

“No one is expecting them to win the title next season but Manchester United shouldn’t be in a position where they’re fighting for a top-four position.”