Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has heaped praise on Roy Keane, Paul Scholes and other United legends when explaining the type of players he need at Old Trafford.
The Dutchman moved to Man United over the summer from Ajax and hasn’t needed enough time to settle in a totally different league.
Manchester United lost their opening two Premier League fixtures but they responded by winning their next four league matches including wins over Liverpool and Arsenal.
Man United backed the former Ajax manager in the summer in a bid to help him quickly turn things around at the Theatre of Dreams.
Ten Hag would go on to sign the likes of Tyrell Malacia, Casemiro, Christian Eriksen, Lisandro Martinez and Antony and these players have played huge roles in helping United sit in the 4th position and challenging for every trophy this season.
Before Erik ten Hag’s appointment, Manchester United finished outside the top-four with zero goal difference under Ralf Rangnick.
Ten Hag believes the reason behind the Red Devils dreadful form last season was down to lack of fighting spirit and said the team lacked dynamic.
“There was no spirit [at Manchester United last season],” Ten Hag said when asked about United’s struggles last term.
“I saw no team dynamic in the squad. The mental resilience was very low. I saw that as an outsider – and also noticed it in my first weeks at the club. I looked at the culture of the club. I asked ‘how did Manchester United become great?’
“And for me, it was about Sir Alex Ferguson. His teams excelled in togetherness, collectivity, spirit. You just couldn’t beat them.
“Man United always had top strikers like Cantona, Cole, Sheringham, Yorke, Van Nistelrooy, Van Persie. And top goalkeepers like Schmeichel, Van der Sar, De Gea.
“I think of players like Ryan Giggs or David Beckham. That’s the culture of Manchester United. I looked at that very carefully and then saw that last season’s team looked fragile and vulnerable.”
Erik ten Hag admitted that he signed players based on the type of players Sir Alex Ferguson had during his 26 years stay as manager at the Theatre of Dreams.
He added: “When we get players, you look at their quality and technical skills. But you also look at their mental quality, that mental resilience – and we had to bring that back.
“We needed personalities. That’s why the acquisition of Casemiro was so important. Along with Raphaël Varane, we now have a second player who has experience of winning titles.
“Malacia, Martínez, Casemiro, Antony are all fighters, while Christian Eriksen is a technical winner and a great personality. We want the best of the best. Any players we bring to Man United must meet the highest standard.”