June 9, 2023

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Money does not work if there is no strategy behind it

Manchester United take on Chelsea in a match that normally should be at the top of the table, but this season it’s a showdown between two teams in each half of the Premier League table.

Chelsea spent a lot of money in the summer and in January, without that resulting in a good standing on the table, and Eric ten Hag was asked in the second part of the press conference if he was showing how difficult it is to get operations to work properly after a change of ownership, and to get everything right.

In his answer, Ten Hag talks about how difficult it is to compete in the Premier League now – where smaller clubs have the opportunity to spend a lot more money than most top clubs in the rest of Europe, before talking about the importance of a good strategy.

– Yes, of course. At the moment there is a centralization of the best players, managers and money here in the UK. It creates great competition, but it’s also tough and tough competition, and you have to do the right things. You can have the money, but you have to use it smartly, and you need a strategy behind it, because otherwise it doesn’t work with money.

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Later in the press conference there was a question that was mostly exactly the same, only more directed towards Chelsea.

– Yes, i saw that [som svar] to a previous question. I replied that if there is no strategy behind it, or if it is not the right strategy, then it does not work with money.

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Ten Hag believes in what is happening at the club, but he also believes United have things to learn.

– I think we’re heading in a good direction, but I also think we can learn from the season. We have to evaluate after the season, and make the right conclusions for the future. That’s what we will definitely do after the season.

Newcastle reached the top four and Ten Hag also hailed Aston Villa, Brighton and Brentford as good clubs, so the United manager was asked if he thought Champions League qualification could be more difficult next season.

– It could be, but there is a summer in between when a lot can happen.

United have not reached the Champions League semi-finals since the 2010/11 season, and Ten Hag agrees that’s not good enough for a club like United.

– But first you need to be in the Champions League before you can qualify for the semi-finals or more, said Ten Hag, indicating what he is focusing on now.

The reporter did not give up completely.

– Yes, but sometimes they didn’t even qualify [for Champions League]. I mean, 12 years is really a long time to go without getting that far?

– That says a lot about this club: where we are and where I think we are now. We have taken steps, said Ten Hag, but there is still a long way to go.

Post-season evaluation: Eric ten Hag. Screenshot: ManUtd.com/MUTV.