Jamie Carragher has drawn parallels between Manchester United’s current manager, Erik ten Hag, and former Liverpool boss Rafa Benitez.
Ten Hag, in his second season with United, is facing challenges as the team currently sits seventh in the Premier League, trailing behind expectations set after a promising debut season.
Carragher expressed concerns about Ten Hag’s pragmatic approach and lack of charisma, likening him to Benitez.
In a discussion on The Overlap’s Stick to Football, Carragher highlighted the similarity in demeanor between Ten Hag and Benitez during press conferences, describing it as straightforward and lacking enthusiasm.
He recalled Benitez’s time at Liverpool, acknowledging the manager’s exceptional training ground work and tactical knowledge despite a reserved public presence.
Carragher expressed his worry that if Ten Hag doesn’t deliver tactically and strategically on the pitch, his reserved personality might be a limiting factor.
He questioned whether Ten Hag possesses the qualities of a motivator and man-manager, traits crucial for player development and performance enhancement.
Rafa Benitez’s managerial success includes a historic Champions League title with Liverpool in 2005 and an FA Cup triumph.
While Benitez faced criticism for his pragmatic style of play, he achieved success at the highest level. Carragher’s comparison suggests that, like Benitez, Ten Hag’s coaching abilities might outweigh his charisma and public persona.
Despite Benitez’s recent challenges, including a less successful stint with Everton, his overall track record adds weight to the comparison.
Whether Ten Hag can overcome the current hurdles at United and emulate Benitez’s success remains to be seen, with results on the pitch becoming increasingly crucial.