Brighton and former Ajax defender Joel Veltman says Erik ten Hag is “the perfect match” for Manchester United, but must be given time to succeed.
Veltman enjoyed a successful two-and-a-half years under the incoming United manager at Ajax, winning the league and cup double in the 2018-19 season as well as reaching the Champions League semi-finals, knocking out Real Madrid and Juventus in the process.
United’s critics often point to a lack of a consistent playing style, and Veltman believes Ten Hag will implement a plan that’s been missing at Old Trafford.
“I think it’s a good choice only because he’s tactically really good, and I think that’s the most important thing that they need right now,” Veltman told Sky Sports.
“They have the major players, every player showed already they are amazing and can perform well in this league at the highest level, so they just need a gaffer who is like, ‘Guys, you have to do this, this and this.’ He needs time of course, but I think he’s probably the perfect match.”
Veltman adds that it’s all about making the players gel for his former coach when he arrives in Manchester.
“Hopefully he (Ten Hag) will make a team of them,” said the Dutchman. “Like OK if you go there, I will go here. Like a harmonica they call it in Holland so it’s like not loose ends any more, so hopefully he will do that next season.”
‘Ten Hag is still learning, hopefully he gets time’
When Ten Hag starts his role as Manchester United’s new manager in July, he can expect to face a scrutiny and pressure like never before.
The 30-year-old Brighton defender, who arrived from Ajax for just £900,000 in July 2020, is calling for patience regarding his former boss.
“He came from Ajax, next season to United, so he did it step by step, and he is still learning,” said Veltman.
“You are still learning every game but he is still learning as well I think. Hopefully he will get the time, and he can get to show the players, directors, everybody and the fans that he is the guy and of course he needs results.
“As a gaffer you need results and hopefully they will come to him but I think it will be fine actually.”
Veltman on overcoming Ronaldo and Juventus
Cristiano Ronaldo will be looking to add to his tally of 18 Premier League goals when Manchester United face Brighton on Saturday evening, live on Sky Sports, and in the process impress Ten Hag again.
Ajax and Veltman had the better of Ronaldo when they went up against Juventus in the Champions League quarter-finals in April 2019, recording a famous 3-2 aggregate victory to progress.
Ronaldo scored, but it was in vain.
“Yeah, it was kind of funny because I came back from an ACL and a knee injury and of course I played some games before already but it was like Veltman against Ronaldo and everybody was laughing,” said Veltman.
“I understand that especially where I came from but I think we did well as a team and when you play against Ronaldo and other big players you want to achieve a good result or a good performance from yourself right, so I think I did well against him.”