Ferdinand shares six-point plan to help ten Hag transform Man United

‘Open heart surgery is a step too far’: Rio Ferdinand disagrees with Ralf Rangnick and shares his six-point plan to help Erik ten Hag transform Manchester United, from introducing a ‘fear factor’ to ‘believing in youth’

  • Rio Ferdinand has told Erik ten Hag the areas to address at Manchester United
  • The former defender said that a fear factor needs to be instilled in the players
  • He also urged ten Hag to embrace youngsters and set out a clear playing style

Rio Ferdinand has shared his six-point plan for Erik ten Hag to follow when he begins life as Manchester United manager.

The Dutchman was confirmed as the club’s new manager on Thursday after signing a £9million a year until June 2025.

It is clear that he has a mammoth task ahead of him to transform United’s fortunes and a 3-1 defeat to Arsenal on Saturday was the latest in a sorry set of recent results.

Erik ten Hag has signed a £9million a year deal as Manchester United manager until June 2025

Speaking before the game on BT Sport, Ferdinand outlined the key areas which he feels that ten Hag must address.

The former United defender said that ‘open surgery is a step too far’, referring to Ralf Rangnick’s comments earlier this week.

Ferdinand’s six-point plan is as follows: set the culture, improve recruitment, structural reset, clear playing style, embrace youth and develop players.

Discussing the culture of Manchester United, he said: ‘I mean having areas where there’s discipline, having players made accountable on and off the pitch. You need consequences when things aren’t going right.

‘I don’t feel that there’s a fear factor from any player, that if they do something wrong, step out of line or don’t adhere to tactical strategies someone will come down hard on them.’

Rio Ferdinand has laid out his six-point plan for ten Hag to follow in the Old Trafford dugout

United lost 3-1 to Arsenal on Saturday afternoon as ten Hag’s mammoth task was made clear

‘The players that have come in to this club, how many have improved?’ Ferdinand continued as he moved on to recruitment.

‘That comes down to coaching as well, but how many have come in and you go ‘they’re a perfect match’? I haven’t seen enough of that.’

Declaring that ‘there needs to be a clear playing style’, Ferdinand said: ‘You have players who don’t run around – that’s not their best asset – you’ve got to get them doing that. Look at Manchester City, Bernado Silva, Thiago at Liverpool.

‘They’re players you don’t associate with hard work but you watch them play, they get around that pitch, they put pressure on people and make sure that you can’t come off the pitch and fire at them that they’re not working hard enough or not putting in the mileage.’

Ralf Rangnick said that United’s problems will only be solved through ‘open heart surgery’

Anthony Elanga is one of the young players currently coming through at Manchester United

Finally, the pundit stressed the importance of giving opportunities to young players.


‘The message from above has to be we have time, we have patience, we believe in youth,’ he said.

‘History at this football club tells us that we play kids whether we’re in Europe or not. Sir Alex Ferguson, all through them years, the Busby years, they’re in Europe challenging to win things. Young players were introduced so don’t tell me it can’t happen, it can.’

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