JAAP STAM has warned Erik ten Hag he MUST win the Premier League title in his debut season at Manchester United – and then top it with the Champions League.
Old Trafford legend Stam, who has won three league titles and was a key part of Sir Alex Ferguson’s 1999 Treble winner, says it’s a CRAZY level of expectations to face the new Ajax manager.
Stam delivered his brutal message ahead of the Dutch Cup final as Ten Hag look to earn a domestic cup hat-trick by beating title rivals PSV Eindhoven in Rotterdam.
But the 49-year-old, who started his own career at Ajax, warned the new Old Trafford manager that with a global superpower like United, just winning domestic trophies would not be enough.
Stam said: “The pressure at United is much greater. Club management can be patient, but that doesn’t mean you get time from the outside world.
“The title and the Champions League are expected. It’s no different under a new coach.”
Stam reckons Ten Hag’s first mission will be to lift their first Premier League title since 2013.
United’s last Champions League success was Ferguson’s in 2008.
Ten Hag knows he must lean on those in power at the club to put together the squad he wants.
But Stam says he has more important work to do in the dressing room and on the training field if he is to bring United back to the top of world football.
Stam said, “Something has to change, but you can’t say, ‘These 15 have to go and these 10 have to stay.’ There are many big contracts. But some changes are crucial for a breath of fresh air and success.
“It becomes difficult when they don’t fit into your system. That’s why you need a trainer who is demanding and tells you in detail what needs to be done.
“The Netherlands and England are worlds apart.
“Ajax have by far the biggest budget in the Eredivisie. But there a trainer is mainly judged on European competitions.
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“In England there are three high-level games a week, with good players at every club, and sometimes you have to change the way you play.”
According to Stam, it’s important for Ten Hag to make a positive first impression – even if the club needs a complete makeover.
He added: “When you get results, confidence grows. However, clubs often ask £40m more when United knock.
“But who you’re dealing with, the style of play and what you expect from the players needs to be made very clear.”
Stam believes Ten Hag, 52, has earned the right to carve out his place in history as an Ajax great as he heads for a third double with the iconic Amsterdam club.
But he says the sheer scale of United’s global support – and the publicity and superstar profile that comes with it – will shock the humble, hard-working manager from the small town of Haaksbergen.
Stam said: “Manchester United supporters are everywhere. That was already the case in my time – without social media.
“My first training camp was in Singapore. In front of the hotel, frenzied fans stood behind barriers up to the elevator.
“Your privacy will also be compromised. Paparazzi are everywhere, even if you’re just going into town.
“Ten Hag isn’t the type for crazy things. But people will also pay attention to how he comes across.
“You just have to be yourself. The longer you’re there, the more you get used to it, but you have to get through it.”
Having faced Ten Hag on Friday as the only UK-based reporter given access to Ajax’s press conference ahead of the cup final, he didn’t strike me as a fragile character.
United’s season has descended into chaos, with cracks in the dressing rooms and private briefings that are par for the course at the course, but over in Holland everything went like clockwork. . . Clockwork Orange in this case!
Despite being grilled over his upcoming move to United, Ten Hag remained laser-focused on the task at hand.
When I asked whether the speculation in the run-up to a cup final had irritated him, he replied: “Every game is stressful. But that’s Ajax and we know how to deal with it.
“This is all about winning prizes. That’s what we live for. For many, many years there have been rumors about the departure of Ajax players and coaches.
TEN HAG WILL INTRODUCE PRECISION
“The focus must always be 100% on winning games.”
Ten Hag is impressive, exudes authority and everything he does seems to be of surgical precision.
His press conference for the cup final was scheduled for noon.
At 11:59 a.m., the door to the Ajax media room opened and he entered, wearing a blue training shirt, along with his skipper Dusan Tadic and the club’s media chief.
There was sporadic laughter as he rolled the punches to get out unharmed, without breaking into a smile.
He seems like a serious character, but there wasn’t the sullenness of Jose Mourinho or the haughty nature of Louis van Gaal.
He also didn’t seem to care if he compares to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on the Nice Guys Stakes.
After 18 minutes of verbal altercation as Tadic spoke, Ten Hag pulled up the left cuff of his blue tracksuit and casually glanced at his watch.
It was subtle and it was understated. But three minutes later the conference was over and Ten Hag left the arena.
His message was clear – it was time to bring the proceedings to a halt. Even so, it was delivered with minimal fuss.
They suspect some United players’ time will also be up if they miss the warning signs when Ten Hag scores Manchester.
https://www.the-sun.com/sport/5140116/manchester-united-jaap-stam-erik-ten-hag/ Man Utd icon Jaap Stam tells Erik ten Hag he MUST win the Premier League in season one and then aim for Champions League glory