Erik ten Hag’s press conference comments show ‘naivety’ and they will ‘come back and bite him’

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Erik ten Hag Man Utd press conference July 2022 Credit: PA Images
Erik ten Hag Man Utd press conference July 2022 Credit: PA Images

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has been accused of “naivety” and one pundit believes he may get “a word in his ear” over recent media comments.

New boss Ten Hag faced the media on Monday in Bangkok ahead of his first pre-season game and the former Ajax chief was candid. The United chief was asked about his club captain for next season and he confirmed Harry Maguire was continuing in the role.

“Harry Maguire is the captain,” stated Ten Hag. And after he was asked to explain his decision, he added: “Of course, I have to get to know all the players and it takes time.

“But he is an established captain for a few years. And he has achieved a lot of success, so I don’t doubt about this issue.”

It was a bold move and an honest assessment from the Man Utd boss, but one which may come back to haunt him, according to former Liverpool star Steve Nicol.

The ESPN pundit thinks Ten Hag has only afforded the press with ammunition for later in the season.

“When you are the coach and you are at the press conference, you don’t answer anybody’s question,” Nicol told ESPN. “You don’t, you tell them what you want them to know.

“You don’t answer questions, you don’t be open and honest. He has shown a little bit of naivety here, answering questions openly and honestly. He has got no obligation to tell them anything other than whatever he fancies telling them. Keep your cards close to your chest, tell them nothing, get through your press conference and move on.

“All they are doing is loading their guns with ammo, so three games into the season it’s ‘Why did you make Harry Maguire captain when you knew he was rubbish last year?’

“I am sick of saying it, keep your mouth closed, get through the press conference, tell them nothing because it is easy. Somebody is going to have to have a word in his ear, because it is going to come back and bite him that’s for sure.”

Ten Hag admits ‘mistakes’

United made a brilliant start to the Dutchman’s reign by sweeping a much-changed Liverpool side aside.

Goals from Jadon Sancho, Fred, Anthony Martial and Facundo Pellistri gave Ten Hag an unexpected 4-0 win.

“Of course we are satisfied today because I think it was a team with a great spirit. And we know we have just started,” said Ten Hag afterwards.

“We did the press, a few mistakes in pressing, conceded some chances, but we also created a lot. I think our team played brave, played proactive.

“We have to work really hard to get out of the mistakes. But of course we are happy with the first game.

“I know we have good players. We started, first game now, so I am happy.”

READ MORE: Pundit claims De Jong transfer saga becoming humiliating for Man Utd, with deal solution named

The article Erik ten Hag’s press conference comments show ‘naivety’ and they will ‘come back and bite him’ appeared first on Teamtalk.com.

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