How does Ten Hag rate the World Cup so far?

Tuesday 06 December 2022 16:59

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has been a keen observer of the World Cup in Qatar and is enjoying seeing his players perform well in the tournament.

Speaking to club media at the Reds' winter training camp in Spain, where 29 players are working hard towards the restart of our domestic season, Ten Hag revealed he’s been keeping an eye on all of his squad members who are out in the Middle East and has also contacted some of them. 

“All the top players are there so it’s really nice to watch that and of course a lot of our players are there, in different teams, so I watch [the World Cup] a lot,” the manager told Danny Webber, in part one of our interview.

Ten Hag in Spain | Watch part one Video

Ten Hag in Spain | Watch part one

In part one of our Q&A, Erik lists his aims for the training camp, previews our friendlies & reviews the World Cup...

“I follow them all and try to keep in touch with them. I’m really happy with their performances and that’s a good message to our team.

“It’s motivation to work, because we have top-class players.

“Now it’s about getting the best team. We want to achieve something this season.”

Erik's native Netherlands are still in the World Cup but they are not the only country he is enjoying watching, with United having heavy representation across several teams in the quarter-finals.

“Of course, when Holland is playing I have a connection with a lot of members of the Dutch squad, with the players in particular, but also with the staff members.

“You follow your country but I can also enjoy England, Argentina, Brazil and Portugal, where our other players are.”

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Ten Hag has been impressed with the technical level shown at the World Cup so far, particularly given the lack of time that teams had to prepare for the tournament.

In terms of Erik’s highlights from Qatar so far, our interview was conducted the day after Brazil’s 4-1 demolition of South Korea and he thought that was a brilliant exhibition of football.

“What you see at the World Cup, at the start, it’s difficult,” he said. “The organisation is not always the best, because this year in particular there is less preparation time.

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“It’s always [the case] with national teams because players come from a lot of clubs and then they have to form a team but you see the intensity is high.

“Playing for your country, I think it gives [you] such a boost that it makes an increase in the intensity and I think it’s fantastic to see the general relationship with the quality of the players.

“I think it’s really enjoyable. If you saw yesterday the game of Brazil [against South Korea], it was a fantastic performance and I think that’s why we like football.”

United's two friendly matches in Spain will be shown live on MUTV, which can be accessed via the Man Utd App on the iOS App Store or Google Play Store, on or via the following connected TV platforms: Samsung Smart TVs, Android TV, LG Smart TVs, Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, Roku TV and Xbox.