If anyone should ask Erik ten Hag about life at the moment, he may tell them that it is everything but a bed of roses! The man who enjoyed so much hype and success in the Dutch League is now fighting to make an impression in probably the hardest league in the world and indeed he has not made that good an impression judging from how miserably his team performed against Brighton and Hove Albion. Manchester tasted their first defeat by Brighton in Old Trafford in what was the very first competitive game of the new manager.
The press asked Erik ten Hag what he thought of the Premier League and coaching a team like Manchester United and his response were disarmingly honest. He admitted that he fully expected the pressure but adding “It is a hell of a job!” Apparently, Ten Hag now knows that succeeding in the Netherlands is one thing but bringing that success to the Premier League is another matter entirely. The pressure is on and he is yet to face tough teams like Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal and Tottenham. If his head is still reeling after playing Brighton then he certainly has a lot to worry about. He has just got a tiny glimpse of hell.
Frankly speaking, Erik should thank Brighton for the reality check. At least it has got him and the Manchester United board thinking. All that dilly-dallying about signing new players have now given way for real seriousness. Suddenly Manchester United wants to sign almost any player. It is looking like panic buying as Adrien Rabiot and 33 years old Marko Arnautovic have both been contacted by Manchester United. Of course the fans are appalled but Manchester United know that with their current team, they have no chance is even qualifying for the top four.
Meanwhile Erik now knows why Cristiano Ronaldo should not be benched unnecessarily. His team was a joke without Ronaldo and even he himself admitted that they played much better after Ronaldo was thrown in. This is not to say Ten Hag is not a great tactician. The man has all the markings of a great coach but he must refrain from too much experimentations as his career as the manager of Man United could be over before he is even started. Indeed coaching one of the biggest clubs in the world is indeed no mean task.