Diogo Dalot on the relationship with Erik ten Hag and his philosophy

“The way that he sees football, the way that he sees the full-back position, I think it suits really well to what I see."

by Sead Dedovic
Diogo Dalot on the relationship with Erik ten Hag and his philosophy
© Nathan Stirk / Getty Images Sport

Diogo Dalot is one of the footballers who has a lot of trust from Erik ten Hag, since the first day of the arrival of the Dutch manager on the bench of Manchester United. Although Dalot was not trusted by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Erik ten Hag clearly saw something in Dalot that the Norwegian manager did not. Looking at this season, Dalot has impressed many, although Manchester United are far from their quality this season. The young Portuguese arrived from Porto to Manchester United in 2018 for 19 million pounds. At the very start, he did not impress the fans, and he went on loan to AC Milan. However, with the arrival of Erik ten Hag, Dalot showed that he is a great talent. In an interview with the media, the young Portuguese immediately emphasized that he 'clicked' with the Dutch manager.

“Sometimes you just click with managers and players or team-mates and I think as soon as he came, that happened,” Dalot said, as quoted by eurosport.com

Erik ten Hag is a manager with a special philosophy, and a man who looks at football in a totally different way than many do. This could be noticed immediately upon his arrival. Dalot is happy that Erik ten Hag sees his position in a unique way and gives him confidence from match to match.

“The way that he sees football, the way that he sees the full-back position, I think it suits really well to what I see and what I like as well. I think it was a good match; him, me and other players. You could see that, that we had many players that started really well since he came. I like to say that it is a good match and I'm hoping that it keeps like that.”

The young Portuguese, although he did not win many trophies with Manchester United, is happy to have the opportunity to work with such a manager. Besides, small things make him happy. The fact that he managed to win a place in the first XI is more of a motivation for him to continue at the same pace and show everyone what a quality footballer he is. That is his goal for the next period. Dalot does not doubt that the club has the potential for great things, but it is obvious that patience and faith in the club are necessary at this moment!

“[There are] many [highlights since I’ve been here]. I look at the small wins. Sometimes you look at winning by just winning trophies or achievements with the team, but for me, it’s been the small things, looking back and seeing the way that I fought to stay at this club, getting a position in the team, and that for me has been the biggest achievement so far.
Then, collectively, you’re here to win trophies and competitions. Last season, we won a trophy, and it was very special for me.”

Even a few months ago, Dalot had only words of praise for Erik ten Hag. His vision and attitude are truly something special.

Dalot mentioned that his manager has had a positive impact on his career, especially since joining the team. He highlighted how the manager's approach has boosted his confidence and praised how the manager's preferred style of play aligns well with his own. Dalot appreciated the manager's attention to details, enjoying the experience of playing and learning under his guidance.

Dalot pointed out that the full-back position has become more significant in today's football. He mentioned the rise of inverted full-backs as a trend embraced by many coaches. According to him, modern full-backs are now more engaged in attacking moves compared to those in the past, emphasizing the need for players to adapt to these changes in the game. 

Diogo Dalot
Diogo Dalot© Alex Pantling / Getty Images Sport

Modern football has brought with it many things, including big changes regarding the positions of football players. Today's full backs are asked to go forward more, they are asked to run more, and participate in their team's attacks. Although some are not fans of modern football, the fact is that today's football is much faster than it was 20 years ago.

Dalot mentioned that football has changed to focus more on playing more inside. He emphasized the need to adjust to this evolution, stating that having the ability to attack effectively from various positions is a great asset. Dalot personally feels comfortable playing on both the right and left sides, showing that he's had plenty of chances to perform well in either position without any problems.

Manchester United fans believe that the Portuguese will improve even more in the future and help the club achieve its goals. Looking at his development so far, it is clear that the young Portuguese has the potential to become one of the best right backs. However, patience, training, confidence and trust on the part of the manager will be necessary for that.

Manchester United's future

The most important thing for Manchester United fans is that this club finally goes in the right direction. From year to year, huge progress is not felt. In the moments when it seems that United finally looks like the team from the era of Sir Alex Ferguson, things quickly go wrong and the fans are disappointed again. Many people wonder how long this kind of chaos within the club will last? Obviously, changes are necessary in the club, given that Manchester United fans have much higher expectations. What they have had the opportunity to watch in the last ten years does not give optimism.

A lot could change in the coming years. The question is whether certain changes will benefit the club. Manchester United is a club with tradition and history from which a lot is always expected.

Erik Ten Hag