Erik ten Hag aims to bring higher standards to Manchester United

Erik ten Hag aims to bring higher standards to Manchester United

United take on Premier League leaders Arsenal on Sunday, January 22, and while their immediate aim is to cement a place in the top four, a win could suggest a title charge isn’t out of the question.

Before a 1-1 draw with Crystal Palace on Wednesday January 18, United had won their last seven games in all competitions.

For Ten Hag, it’s about rediscovering the culture that saw United dominate English football under Alex Ferguson.

“What I want to bring is a culture based on high standards and values,” he told reporters.

“And also, I think accountability and transparency. So honestly, those are our values [that] I want to regulate, I want to control.

“I think that’s how we have to cooperate. Internally, but also externally. So, for example, with the media and the fans.”

Asked if he was confident in United’s ability to continue to improve, Ten Hag replied: “Yes, I’m pretty confident in this process. I think we are [going] in the right direction.

“It also means that we have to improve a lot if you want to compete for the top places in the future, because the competition will be really tough.”

United beat Arsenal 3-1 at Old Trafford in September, marking the Gunners’ only league defeat of the season.

It is only the third time Arsenal have hosted United in a Premier League game despite being top of the table, with the previous two encounters ending in draws – 1-1 in March 2004 and 2-2 in November 2007.

The clubs have enjoyed a fierce rivalry over the years, and Ten Hag believes both teams are on the verge of getting back to where they belong.

“I think in the Premier League you have six, seven teams that can all win the league,” he said.

“When you have the right philosophy, the right strategy, I think a lot more clubs can compete for the top positions in the league, so that’s a big challenge.”