Jamie Carragher has insisted that the work done by Erik ten Hag has proven that claims made last year about Manchester United being years behind their big rivals were wide of the mark.
Jamie Carragher has branded claims made last year that Manchester United were years behind Liverpool and Manchester City as “nonsense” in the wake of Erik ten Hag’s impressive start to life at Old Trafford.
Ten Hag has won plenty of plaudits for stabilising United, who endured their worst-ever season in Premier League history last term. Following heavy defeats to both Liverpool and City, it was claimed that United were several years behind their two biggest rivals, who have dominated the domestic game in recent seasons.
But United have flourished under Ten Hag’s guidance and are currently fourth in the table: seven points above Liverpool and just four points behind Manchester City, who are currently second. And Carragher believes that United’s revival this season is proof that last year’s claims were an overreaction to bad results.
Speaking on Sky Sports, the Anfield favourite said: “Last season when United had awful results, there was a lot of talk saying United were five years away from [Manchester] City and Liverpool, people were even saying longer than that.
“It just shows it’s absolute nonsense. A top club, if they get the right manager and add two or three players to what you’ve got, then you’re nowhere near as far away as people think.”
Despite United’s impressive progress, Ten Hag was not interested in targeting silverware ahead of a domestic cup double-header this week.
Manchester United host Everton in the FA Cup third round on Friday night before they face off against League One outfit Charlton in the Carabao Cup quarter-finals on Tuesday.
Ten Hag has been tipped to end United’s five-year trophy drought this term in the wake of the impressive run that has seen them climb back into the upper echelons of the Premier League
But the Dutchman has insisted that he has achieved nothing yet and there is still plenty of work that needs to be done before United turn their attention to competing for silverware consistently again.
Speaking in his pre-match press conference on Thursday, Ten Hag said: “I don’t think about [winning trophies] at this stage of the season. We are where we want to be but still go from game to game, we play in many competitions, focus from game to game and don’t think too far ahead.
We have many elements in our game we have to improve. As we push the players because good is not good enough, also in the organisation we have to push each other and when there are opportunities at the top you have to be ready for that. My main focus is to improve the team.”