Blind backs 'control freak' Ten Hag to succeed at Man Utd

By Sports Desk June 09, 2022

Daley Blind has backed "control freak" Erik ten Hag to succeed at Manchester United and deliver the attacking football that the club "stands for".

Ten Hag was in April confirmed as the successor to Ralf Rangnick, who will not take up a consultancy role at Old Trafford after taking charge of Austria.

The former Ajax coach has a sizeable rebuilding job to do after United recorded their lowest points tally in a Premier League season.

The Red Devils also failed to end a league campaign with a positive goal difference (zero in 2021-22) for the first time since the 1989-90 season (-1).

Ten Hag guided Ajax to a third Eredivisie title in four full seasons at the helm and Blind backed the 52-year-old to make a big impact at his former club.

"He's really social," the Ajax defender Daley told United's official website. "I think, also in Ajax, he knows everyone at the club is important. Everyone needs to be involved to get that winning feeling, that winning mentality.

"Everyone is needed pointing in the same direction. He is aware of that and wants to keep everything close. He's also a control freak and wants to be on top of everything. I think that's a special quality you need to have when being that good.

"I think he is a brilliant [coach]. A manager who loves to play attacking football, what Manchester stands for.

"I think he's a manager who knows what he wants. He knows exactly how he wants to bring it over to the team and express that and keep everyone on board, everyone in the same direction to get that winning mentality and winning trophies."

United have not won a trophy since the 2017 Europa League final success under Jose Mourinho and Blind insists Ten Hag must build foundations before focusing on silverware.

"It's difficult to say," he responded when asked about Ten Hag delivering trophies at United. "I won't burn my hands on that but I think the most important thing is that the team puts out a playing style and people can see that back on the pitch.

"I think, if that's going to happen, then winning will become more easy. From winning, you win trophies. When this happens, I don't know.

"I know this manager has the quality and I hope he gets the time to put everything his way and makes sure the team plays how he wants. I am confident he will be successful."

Related items

  • Seattle Sounders v Vancouver Whitecaps: Sartini targets immediate response Seattle Sounders v Vancouver Whitecaps: Sartini targets immediate response

    Vanni Sartini hopes a quick turnaround might help the Vancouver Whitecaps halt their skid as they visit their Cascadia Cup rivals, the Seattle Sounders, on the back of two straight losses.

    Vancouver sit seventh in the Western Conference with 18 points from 12 games in 2024, though they have slipped down the standings by only taking two points from the last 12 available. 

    They followed up a 3-0 defeat to Los Angeles FC by going down 1-0 to the Colorado Rapids on Wednesday, playing half of that game with 10 men after Bjorn Utvik's sending-off.

    The Whitecaps have little time to stew on that result before Saturday's derby clash, but Sartini hopes that could be a positive thing.

    "It's really hard when you don't touch the ball at all and are down on the score, so what we did was really good – until the end everyone was running and giving 100 per cent," he said.

    "I'm still a little bummed that we didn't score to make it 1-1, which we fully deserved.

    "But we have time and other games, so we can immediately score points. We need to get back on the plus side on Sunday."

    Seattle, meanwhile, sit 10th in the West with 13 points from 13 matches, having seen their revival halted by a 2-0 defeat at Real Salt Lake in midweek.

    Boss Brian Schmetzer was left to rue basic defensive errors after that loss, saying: "In the first half, we let them out – one mistake. 

    "Could we have played a little bit better? Sure. We showed some glimpses in attack, and then we fell asleep. It was two plays that killed us. We have to own it."

    PLAYERS TO WATCH

    Seattle Sounders – Raul Ruidiaz 

    Ruidiaz has scored eight goals in 11 career regular-season matches against the Whitecaps, one of four teams he's scored eight or more goals against in MLS. 

    Only three other players have scored eight or more goals against one opponent since Ruidiaz debuted in MLS in July 2018.

    Vancouver Whitecaps – Levonte Johnson

    Vancouver have been shut out in back-to-back games against Los Angeles and the Rapids since their 2-1 Canadian Championship win over Cavalry earlier this month.

    Speedy winger Johnson scored twice in that game and will be desperate to get a chance here.

    MATCH PREDICTION – SEATTLE SOUNDERS WIN

    The Whitecaps have won three of their last five meetings with Seattle (one draw, one defeat) after winning just two of the previous 22, including going 15 straight without a victory prior to this run.

    Seattle have managed just one win in five home matches this season (three draws, one defeat) with their six home points tied for the fewest of any Western Conference team.

    However, the Whitecaps have failed to net in three straight regular-season matches for the first time since August 2020, so Seattle are favourites to claim the bragging rights.

    OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

    Seattle Sounders – 50.1% 

    Vancouver Whitecaps – 22.3%

    Draw – 27.6%

  • San Jose Earthquakes v Orlando City: Gonzalez certain things will turn San Jose Earthquakes v Orlando City: Gonzalez certain things will turn

    The San Jose Earthquakes may sit bottom of the Western Conference standings ahead of Saturday's clash with Orlando City, but Luchi Gonzalez is certain they will be just fine.

    The 'Quakes saw their mini revival halted by a 4-2 loss to the Portland Timbers in midweek, having previously won three straight games across all competitions.

    Their 10 points are fewer than all MLS teams except the New England Revolution (seven) have won this season, but Gonzalez has seen positive signs.

    "We're going to be fine. This is a great group, and they continue to fight for each other. It's hard when we drop points," he said.

    "I expect nothing but a fire in their belly and a response against Orlando and then in the next one, and it's really fun and exciting to coach this team. 

    "These guys work for each other and they want to keep getting better, and I'm confident they will keep getting better as the season continues."

    Orlando have also made a stuttering start, earning 13 points from 12 games to sit 11th in the Eastern Conference standings.

    The Lions did shut out a Lionel Messi-less Inter Miami side in a goalless draw on Wednesday, though, and midfielder Wilder Cartagena has seen signs of progress.

    "Especially in the last few games, we've been showing ourselves to be more dangerous and attacking," Cartagena said.

    "It's similar to how we were in the last half of last year but obviously there are a couple of minor adjustments that we have to make. I think we are playing a lot better in that area."

    PLAYERS TO WATCH

    San Jose Earthquakes – Amahl Pellegrino 

    Pellegrino has scored in three straight games, becoming the first San Jose player to do so in MLS play since Cristian Espinoza between July and August last year (four straight). 

    It's Pellegrino's first time scoring in three straight league matches since he netted in four in a row for Norwegian side Bodo/Glimt in 2023.

    Orlando City – Cesar Araujo

    Orlando allowed 29 shots against the Philadelphia Union last Saturday but just seven against Miami on Wednesday. It was the first time in their MLS history that Orlando faced at least 20 fewer shots from one game to the next.

    Araujo protected the backline admirably in midweek and will look to do likewise again here.

    MATCH PREDICTION – DRAW

    The home side has never lost in six all-time meetings between San Jose and Orlando. 

    The first three meetings were all drawn before the hosts won each of the last three, with San Jose winning at home in 2019 and Orlando recording home wins in 2018 and 2021.

    After their midweek stalemate against Miami, Orlando have been shut out five times in league play this season. That is tied for the most in MLS in 2024, while their six times being held scoreless in all competitions this term also equals the most by any MLS outfit. 

    OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

    San Jose Earthquakes – 38.4%

    Orlando City – 33.4%

    Draw – 28.2%

  • Toronto FC v CF Montreal: Courtois accepts blame amid ongoing winless streak Toronto FC v CF Montreal: Courtois accepts blame amid ongoing winless streak

    Laurent Courtois has accepted that it is on him to find a winning formula as CF Montreal look to snap their winless run against Toronto FC.

    Montreal were beaten 3-1 by Columbus Crew in midweek and are now without a victory in six games in all competitions.

    That includes a three-game losing streak in MLS, leaving them 13th in the Eastern Conference, and Courtois is eager to get back on track.

    "It's up to me to find the winning formulas and discern the phases of the game," head coach Courtois said after the loss to Columbus.

    "We have to grit our teeth and find solutions. The difficult times we are going through help me identify my group. I want to know the players better. 

    "From all the negative aspects we can observe, I can identify a few individual aspects to improve the game or the team itself."

    Monreal's rivals Toronto have themselves lost back-to-back games ahead of Saturday's Canadian Classique at BMO Field.

    Nashville SC scored twice late on to snatch a 2-0 win in the Reds' most recent match, but acting head coach Jason deVos admits there can be no excuses.

    "The last ten minutes, two mistakes cost us and that's the cruelty of football sometimes - that it's a 90-minute match and you need to put in a 90-minute performance in," he said. 

    "The players are aware of that. They know where the growth areas are for us as a team."

    PLAYERS TO WATCH

    Toronto - Federico Bernardeschi

    Bernardeschi missed the loss to Nashville but will hope to start this weekend in a fixture he has fond memories of. 

    The Italian has scored in each of his two home games against Montreal, making him the third Toronto player to score in two successive home games against them after Jozy Altidore and Michael Bradley.

    Montreal - Joel Waterman

    Montreal have conceded three or more goals five times across their 12 MLS games this season, which is tied with San Jose Earthquakes for the most in MLS.

    They quite simply need to sharpen up at the back, with Joel Waterman needing to step up and hope others around him also do so.. The centre-back led the way for interceptions (three) and clearances (four) against Columbus, yet it was still not enough.

    MATCH PREDICTION: DRAW

    Montreal have won five successive matches against Toronto, following a run of neither side ever winning more than three on the spin in this fixture.

    Toronto have won seven and drawn one of their eight matches in which they have held opponents under two goals since September, while they have lost all 13 in which they have shipped two or more.

    Keeping the opposition quiet is therefore key, and this could present a chance to do just that against a Montreal side with fewer points (five) than any side in MLS since mid-March.

    OPTA WIN PROBABILITY

    Toronto - 39.6%
    Draw - 28.5%
    Montreal - 31.9%

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.