Man Utd have all the ingredients to reach next level under Ineos – Eric Ramsay

By Sports Desk March 16, 2024

Eric Ramsay believes Manchester United have all the ingredients to go to the next level under Ineos – but Erik ten Hag’s former coach felt he had to leave for a dream first managerial job at Minnesota United.

The 32-year-old swapped Uniteds following March’s derby defeat at Manchester City, with his move to the Twin Cities seeing him become the youngest permanent manager in Major League Soccer history.

It is an exciting new chapter in an impressive coaching journey that led Ramsay to Swansea, Shrewsbury and Chelsea before joining Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s coaching set-up in June 2021.

Initially focused on individual players and set-plays, the Welshman’s remit broadened over time and he is looking forward to putting his experiences into practice as Minnesota’s second-ever head coach.

“I have never been desperate to be a head coach by a certain age or a certain point,” Ramsay told the PA news agency ahead of his first match in charge against Los Angeles FC this weekend.

“But I felt naturally I was sort of gravitating toward that opportunity coming.

“I’ve had some opportunities over the course of the last two years to go into the Championship or League One and for whatever reason haven’t pursued those.

“The club itself is phenomenally well set up. The ownership is really stable. I think that’s incredibly attractive for a first-time head coach.

“From a club perspective, the league and the wider US context, in terms of the competitions being held here in the coming years, the general feel around the sport, I think it’s as perfect an opportunity as I’ll get.”

Ramsay also had a stint working with Wales during his time at United, where he felt like he squeezed in a lot at an institution that garners “endless attention” and “feels like no other club”.

The 32-year-old never got caught up in the background noise – “if you as a coach were to be too drawn into that then you’d lose focus on what you’re there to do” – and enjoyed his time there despite the difficult spells.

“To have the opportunity to be one step removed from three managers and Michael Carrick, working at Man United over two-and-a-half years, I don’t think you’re getting better preparation for your own role as head coach because it’s a really trying set of circumstances with a lot of intensity,” Ramsay said.

“(Erik) is obviously incredibly focused, has real conviction as to how he wants the team to play, how he feels the group should be managed, as you’d expect of anyone who hits that level as a manager.

“Obviously, he’s had some difficult circumstances to deal with this year, so hopefully once that gets cleaned up then we’re going to see the trajectory recaptured that we saw last year.”

Injuries have proven the main difficulty in a bumpy season and Ten Hag is under the spotlight heading into Sunday’s FA Cup quarter-final against rivals Liverpool.

But Ramsay is confident better times lie around the corner at Old Trafford, having been impressed by new co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe and his Ineos team.

 

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“As has been presented in the media and as I’m sure you’ve heard lots of people say, the Ineos vision for Man United is really exciting,” Ramsay said.

“They, as well, have a lot of conviction in how elite sports teams should look and feel.

“There is a genuine Ineos way that I think the combination of that and the way in which Erik wants to operate, it could be a really exciting combination.

“I think you’ve got some phenomenally bright people now attached to the club, through the likes of Dave Brailsford and the people that they will inevitably bring in to wrap around the existing structure.

“So, I do think all the ingredients are there for the club to really move on to the next level.

“I said this to the Ineos guys as I was leaving, I’m loathed in some senses (to go) because I think I was probably a nice fit for the way in which they wanted to go about things.

“I felt like it would take a lot from them and their way of working.

“But, personally, I felt like this opportunity from my individual perspective was one that I couldn’t turn down in spite of all that positivity around the club.”

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