Erik ten Hag has discussed his former club Ajax in an interview with Voetbal International.

Ten Hag left Ajax for Manchester United two years ago and the club have struggled to replace him. This year, Ajax finished fifth.

Speaking to VI, Ten Hag blamed the departure of Marc Overmars for Ajax’s struggles, “Success comes on foot and goes on horseback. That goes so fast. Much can be traced back to the dismissal of Marc Overmars.

“His departure was killing for the club. I insist that I find it scandalous what they have done to Overmars. From a club perspective, it was also so stupid how they flew to it, by throwing him directly in front of the bus. That was already clear to me at the time, but I now think for everyone: Overmars was the crucial and binding factor in the club leadership at the football level. He determined Ajax’s football line. His cleverness, his strategic insight. He didn’t write a letter on paper, but made out all the lines. When he fell away, it all thundered together and it became one big anarchy in the organisation.”

Ten Hag also thinks the club lacks balance in the squad, “You really have to scrape on that. And that also needs time, maybe that will take another year, because they have made a mess of it.”

The departure of Daley Blind and Davy Klaassen is scandalous for Ten Hag, “That is unparallelled. How were they able to say goodbye to players like Daley Blind and Davy Klaassen? I really thought that was so outrageous, the way that went. So bad for Ajax. They should never have taken away Davy Klaassen. Such a player is so important to the group, to the club. You want to guard that DNA, you have to guard it. He will always go for your club, even if others give up, because it’s a real Ajacied. Daley Blind same story. How stupid can you be?”

On Manchester United, Ten Hag agreed it’s been a bad year, “It’s very disappointing. Of course we have a bad year, that is clear. I’m still in the middle of the season, the real looking back will come later. But you set yourself predetermined goals, and this season we should have taken the next step”

The club have struggled with injuries and Ten Hag thinks expectations need to be set, “Manchester United became champion for the last time in 2013, eleven years ago, but the expectation is that we will win every game and play at the top of the Premier League for a while. This club is not ready for that at all yet.

“We would build. And last year we took a good step. But even then you can see how big United is and that it’s never good. Everyone was satisfied within the club, but from the outside world there were sounds like: You win the Carabao Cup, you lose the FA Cup- final and you are only third… Then you have no sense of reality. Selections from other clubs were just better.

“Let’s be clear: it’s just bad too, it’s just dredge. But despite everything, we are just in the FA Cup- final. There’s just nothing more in it at the moment. With all these problems, this is the maximum feasible.”

Despite rumours of him being sacked, Ten Hag has been told by the club he is part of their plans, “I hear they want to change everything but build with me. At least that’s what they say directly to me and what they say. I am and remain combative.”




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