Ten Hag spells out long-term vision
Erik ten Hag has outlined how his United side should look in a couple of years' time, and says that clever work in the transfer market and the promotion of Academy talent are key to making it a reality.
The comments came on the back of an excellent question posed by Kerala-based supporters Arjun Menon and Arjun Balachandran at the pre-Aston Villa media conference, where fans were invited to quiz the boss.
They asked for Erik's view on how the squad will look in a couple of years' time and the importance of a transfer strategy, allied to looking towards the youth team for reinforcements.
The Dutchman was keen to stress that the biggest factor towards any success will be ensuring his coaching methods are instilled in the players.
“Yeah, yeah. I believe in that last [point]," Ten Hag explained. "It’s two sides: good scouting and being successful in the transfer market, but also [a] good youth philosophy that brings up players.
“When we are two years further [on], I hope that we have developed a way of play. It has to be a proactive way, proactive football and that we are dominating and dictating games against all our competitors, so at the highest level.
“That is a really good challenge, so when you get that style into the squad, also we’ll see that players will develop to higher levels. The improvement not only has to come from being successful in the transfer market. That is definitely a part of it, but also it has to come from improvement that we get by coaching. That’s it, by managing, by coaching, by training.”
The boss was happy to meet and engage with the supporters' club representatives at our training base before continuing the preparations for Thursday night's Carabao Cup encounter with Aston Villa at Old Trafford (20:00 GMT)
Following Sunday's final Premier League match before the World Cup, at Fulham, there will be a short break for those not involved in the tournament before United get back to work and embark on a Spanish training camp in order for more of the coaches' messages and methods to be put into place.
If we progress past Villa, the Carabao Cup fourth round will be our first domestic action after the finals in Qatar.