Man Utd: Steve McClaren on why Erik ten Hag is the nearest thing to Sir Alex Ferguson - and is ‘ready’ for job

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The former Red Devils assistant manager believes Ten Hag is the closest manager to Ferguson - a positive for the club’s fans.

Steve McClaren has dubbed Erik ten Hag ‘similar’ to Sir Alex Ferguson, with the Dutchman the bookies’ favourite to take over at Old Trafford next season.

The former, who was assistant to Ferguson in the early 2000s, also worked with Ten Hag at FC Twente and thinks the Ajax boss’ qualities are key to his success so far.

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“His great strength lies not just in his attention to detail and organisation,” McClaren told the Daily Telegraph.

“He has a clear philosophy of how he wants to play football; the environment he wants to create.

ten Hag has been with Ajax since 2017 leading them to two League titles ten Hag has been with Ajax since 2017 leading them to two League titles
ten Hag has been with Ajax since 2017 leading them to two League titles | Getty Images

“The player progression programme was a key part of Twente. He has done that at Ajax too, for each player from the academy to the first team.

“You look at Hakim Ziyech and now the [Brazilian] striker Antony, a very good player who will be the next one to go. I have seen this Ajax team and it’s very good.”

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The former England manager went on to discuss how due to Ten Hag’s philosophy and work ethic, he is ‘ready’ to manage in England, with the Red Devils interviewing him for the role last week.

“Erik is very disciplined and people have to buy into that and have that work ethic,” McClaren added.

Former Manchester United manger Alex Ferguson.Former Manchester United manger Alex Ferguson.
Former Manchester United manger Alex Ferguson. | Getty Images

“Tactically he’s outstanding. He worked with Pep [Guardiola] at Bayern Munich and took in his philosophy too. They called him ‘Mini Pep’ out there.

“He’s ready. A lot of top clubs in Germany and England will be out to get him.”

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McClaren made a bold claim in terms of Ten Hag’s eye for detail, stating the only other manager he knew to do that was Ferguson.

He said: “The only other one I would have seen do that? That would have been the gaffer [Alex Ferguson].”

According to the Telegraph, Ten Hag has moved ahead of other candidates for the hot seat at Old Trafford and is now ‘clear favourite’ to be appointed.

The newspaper adds, the process to find Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s long-term successor is set to take place soon.

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