Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has been praised for his ability to make ideas ‘trainable’.
The Dutchman moved to Old Trafford in the summer as the permanent successor to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer following five years at Ajax.
He proved to be a major success with the Dutch giants, consistently keeping them competitive and playing an attractive brand of football despite player sales each summer.
He would win three Eredivisie titles, two KNVB Cup’s and the Johan Cruyff Shield during his time in charge of the club.
It was that attractive brand of football and player development that made Manchester United move for him, though, and Dutch coach Foppe de Haan believes he deserves more credit.
“With Ten Hag, people often think: what kind of man is that?” he told De Telegraaf.
“But when he starts talking about football, you immediately know wait a minute, this guy knows what he wants.
“He really has an idea and makes it trainable. He makes demands, is very clear about them and seems completely reliable in the things he wants and does. That’s why he has lasted so long at clubs
“Not in the sense of power-boys, but who are quick and skilful and can run. You have to be able to run, run, run’ he once said. That’s true too. And you have to have guts.”
Ten Hag has quickly had to try and get the players on board with his methods at Manchester United, including superstar Cristiano Ronaldo.
He wanted to leave the club this summer but found the market lacking in options, so was instead forced to remain where he was and fight for his place.
So far, he has been playing a substitute role under the Dutchman but has been a less sullen version of himself during Manchester United’s recent good run of form.
That may be a result of the work Ten Hag has been doing to unite the Manchester United squad, but De Haan believes there is more to it than that.
“They all had a lot of trouble with that (the players) after Alex Ferguson,” he added.
“He was also very clear immediately towards Cristiano Ronaldo. That was good. He sat on the bench against Arsenal and is smiling again.
“That is very clever. Trust is very important, then you also give that to another. Then you dare and you don’t see an enemy behind every tree.”