Ruud Gullit has accused Manchester United of ‘living in the past’ and failing to keep pace with modern football.
The former Chelsea manager believes Erik ten Hag must adapt his coaching to the Premier League but fears his fellow Dutchman being hampered at a club that points to the success of the 1990s and has never moved on since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement.
Gullit, speaking to Laureus, also feels the ex-United players who work as pundits do not help the club move forward.
“I think that there’s a lot of problems at Manchester United. I think they missed the opportunity to change football. I think they live too much in the past,” he said. “They talk about the 90s team too much. That’s the past. You see teams, they play a football that they now want to play, but they are too late.
“Pep Guardiola did it, [Jurgen] Klopp did it, [Thomas] Tuchel did it and they were hanging in the past, [Louis] Van Gaal and [Jose] Mourinho as well. Great coaches, but there’s a new era, there’s a new way of playing and that’s the reason why they stood behind.
“Nowadays, players want to go to different teams. They want to go to Liverpool, they want to go to Manchester City, they want to go to Chelsea. They are not the main team any more in England as they were with Ferguson. That’s the past. So, you need to change your mentality a little bit and it will take some time.
“Plus, they have five ex-players who every day talk about Manchester United. It’s difficult. Difficult. And the only way you can overcome that is to win and if you don’t, then every day, you’re gonna see the newspapers, the first five, six articles all about United, every day.”
Ten Hag has started his United career with a defeat against Brighton and is still looking for solutions in the transfer market after failing to land another Dutchman in Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong.
“I think Ten Hag is a good coach, but if you come with a Dutch mentality only to come to England, it’s difficult,” added Gullit. “You have to adapt yourself. You have to understand that you don’t win games only with football, you need power as well.
“You need power, you need technique, you need stamina, you need the right mentality. If you see also, in midfield, you know, you need players who can play.”
Ruud Gullit was speaking to Laureus