United Review Real Sociedad interview with Donny van de Beek in full September 2022

United Review Real Sociedad interview with Donny van de Beek in full September 2022

You spoke in pre-season about the importance of everyone speaking with everyone, all getting along as a group and getting closer to one another – is that something Erik is focused on? Did he encourage it at Ajax?
“Yeah, I think for not only the coach, but for everyone, it’s really important. We have to do it as a team. Everyone is trying to be close to each other, to be a team. I think the Liverpool game was a good example of a team result. I think we can even play much better, but we played a good game and we did it as a team. This is the way we have to do it this season.”

There have been some exciting new signings made over the summer, including some players you might know from Dutch football, plus Christian Eriksen and Casemiro – how impressed have you been by the club’s transfer moves? 
“I know them already, as a player. Some of the players I played against – I played against Christian, against Casemiro as well, with Ajax. Licha [Lisandro], I played together with him. So I know what they are capable of and they are really good players, so they will help us for sure. They are nice people, but they are also team players. I think this is important, to work hard together. As people, they fit very well with the players we have.”

The manager has a lot of options in midfield now, doesn’t he? Can you see different combinations evolving for different opposition? 
“Yeah, and I think we need it, because it will be a tough season. Everyone wants to play, but you have to show it and you need to improve yourself every day to be in the first XI. A club like United needs many options and needs a big squad to play and to have a good season. I switch sometimes – sometimes I play in the ‘10’, sometimes in the ‘8’, in Ajax sometimes I play in the ‘6’, so I can play in different positions. There’s been some great defending, in particular, from back to front.”

Is it fair to say that the manager has been focusing on energy and hard work as much as the tactical side? 
“Yeah. I think it’s all important, but energy is so important. I think that’s the first thing that’s important: the spirit and the aggression. You need to have the will to win.”


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