Arne Slot articulates feelings about rivalry with Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag –

Slot and Ten Hag first went head-to-head in the 2019/20 Dutch Eredivisie season when the latter secured his first management job at AZ Alkmaar. The title race between Ajax and AZ was exhilarating before the COVID-19 pandemic paused it and ultimately cancelled it. Both clubs were tied on 56 points with the same records, only separated by goal difference. Ten Hag went on to win his second and third Eredivisie titles in 2021 and 2022 before being appointed as United’s new manager.

Slot has since left AZ for Feyenoord and, in Ten Hag’s absence, re-established the club’s status at the summit of Dutch football. In 2022, he guided Feyenoord to the Europa Conference League final and last season, they won their first Eredivisie title since 2017. Last week, Slot lifted the KNVB Cup. Ten Hag’s future beyond the summer is uncertain amid an underwhelming season in which United are almost certain to miss out on Champions League qualification.

If Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS make a change, the 54-year-old’s era will end in unison with Klopp’s, and a new one will begin in Manchester and Merseyside. But if he stays put, Ten Hag and Slot could do battle again next season on the touchline of one of the world’s most fierce rivalries. Slot clearly respects the former Ajax boss based on his comments at the peak of his United tenure in February 2023, hailing him for paving the way for other Dutch coaches.

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