Ibrahimovic has jumped to support under-fire Man United coach Erik ten Hag, appearing to accuse the three-time Champions League of lacking a concise plan to deliver sustainable success on and off the pitch.
Former Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic has defended under-fire manager Erik ten Hag, saying that the pressures of coaching his former side Ajax contrast with those of his current employers.
United have had massive problems both on and off the pitch this season, which has left the Dutch coach in a precarious situation as he looks for solutions.
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In his time at the club, he has had to deal with several issues off the pitch, including handling big stars like Cristiano Ronaldo, who claims he was not “respected” by the coach, as well as Jadon Sancho, who has been banished from training after making a statement on social media that slammed the coach’s sentiments saying that he did not work hard enough in training.
As a result, many have started to question Ten Hag’s credentials, questioning whether he is the right person to take the team forward, but Ibrahimovic has appeared to come to his defence, saying that “it is not all his fault”.
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“I do not say it is the coach’s fault because experience, you cannot buy, you just have to get time to get the experience,” Ibrahimovic told Piers Morgan Uncensored.
“It is two different situations, being at Ajax and being at United. Then if it is his fault, I don’t think (so) because everyone has a responsible (responsibility) in the whole situation. We are a piece of (a) puzzle from the big puzzle.
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“Everybody have a responsibility to do and to fulfill the demands, United has to win every title they play for. Now they are being dominated by the neighbors and it is a totally different situation there. You need to find the right path again and to push for that.”
Ibrahimovic has slammed the club for lacking a clear plan on how to attain sustainable success on and off the pitch, which he says has contributed to the problems engulfing the club.
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Although he insists that Ten Hag needs time, he is aware that a club like Manchester United demands instant results, citing that in his time as a player at Milan, he also demanded his coach deliver instant results.
“Now I think you need a plan, you need a project to follow and it fees like you need a project plan and it goes wild in a moment because of the results. Either you believe in that or you don’t believe in that.
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“With the situation of the coach, he is living (in) two different situations now. What happened with Sancho and Cristiano I do not know.
“He need more time to get the experience, how to handle a team. When I was in Milan, I cannot give you time to develop, to perform. You need to perform straight because like I said, it is a rival mode. It is you or another one ‘cause United is in a situation where you don’t do good enough, the next day there is another one.
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“And the results speak for themselves. That is why it is tricky, but how much time do you give a coach, I don’t know, depends on the owners, what they want, but if you listen to the fans, you do not have alot of time because they want to win, and I understand that because they are used to win and they want to still win.”
Ibrahimovic says that winning has always tended to paper over a lot of cracks at that club. Last season, United finished third and won the Carabao Cup, which prompted many people to momentarily forget the underlying issues facing the 20-time league champions.
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Following a meeting with Greater Manchester Police, United have allowed Antony to return and he is expected to be in consideration to play for them again soon. What does it mean?
“I think it is a lot of things. The small details make the big difference. It is not the big pictures you see because when things are good, there are still errors and problems but you do not see it because we are winning,” Ibrahimovic said in the wake of Manchester United’s teething problems.