The struggles of Erik ten Hag at Manchester United are headline news in the Netherlands with reports in the Dutch media claiming he is in danger of the sack amid claims the ‘Golden Child of Dutch football management’ is in line to replace him.
Ten Hag took charge of the Red Devils last summer and was allowed to spend over £200m in his first summer as he looked to lift a flagging squad that had stalled home in sixth place the previous season. And the Dutchman appeared to have an instant impact, helping them win the Carabao Cup, reach the FA Cup final and, most significantly of all, finish third in the Premier League.
With more money invested in the squad this summer, expectations were high that Ten Hag would help United close the gap on all-conquering Manchester City and possibly even mount a promotion charge of their own.
However, with United suffering three defeats in their first five matches – amounting to their worst-ever start to a Premier League season – the Red Devils are, according to Robbie Savage, already out of the title race.
Worse yet, Ten Hag now finds his position at United coming under some serious scrutiny. And while there is seemingly no immediate danger of the sack, he is under major pressure to ensure a return to both winning ways and better form.
To that end, Chris Sutton has revealed why the sub-standard displays and off-field problems with a certain star are putting Ten Hag’s job on the line.
Next up for United is a thoroughly-difficult Champions League assignment against Bayern Munich.
Man Utd want Arne Slot to replace Ten Hag – report
And while a defeat at the Allianz Arena would surprise few, they will be expected to put up a better display than the disjointed showing last time out against Brighton.
Furthermore, Saturday evening’s match against Burnley at Turf Moor is now taking on additional significance. Failure to pick up maximum points will see knives sharpening for Ten Hag,
Indeed, reports in the Netherlands now claim United officials have already set their sights on a would-be successor in Feyenoord coach Arne Slot.
Per 1908.nl, they state the Feyenoord boss – who is regarded as the Golden Child of Dutch football management – is a ‘shoo-in’ to succeed Ten Hag at Old Trafford.
They write that the ‘metamorphosis’ of Feyenoord under Slot has been unprecedented, with officials at United quick to recognise the work that he has done.
Steering them to the Eredivisive title last season, Slot has Feyenoord fourth this time around with 11 points from five games. They also made a successful start to life in the Champions League on Tuesday night, recording a 2-0 win over Celtic at De Kuip.
Recognising too that, at the same time, Ten Hag is currently being ‘humbled’ in the United dug-out by a side in Brighton who cost a fraction of the price, 1908.nl feel the Red Devils boss is struggling to ‘maintain the image of a successful trainer’ with his side so comprehensively beaten.
Slot achievements recognised by Man Utd
And despite spending €200m on new players this summer, they feel Ten Hag has ‘created zero value’ at United, amid growing claims they could be ready to consider a changing of the guard.
And if they do decide to let Ten Hag leave, they report there is a ‘real chance’ United will go for Slot, who is seen as ‘the real rising star of international management’.
Slot, for his part, is seen as a coach who makes players better, can mould a team that play an exciting brand of football and someone who can put a real smile on the faces of United supporters in the process.
Suggesting that Ten Hag may need to watch his back, they state Slot’s ‘impressive achievements’ are really catching the eye in the Premier League.
Indeed, it is not the first time that Slot has been approached for a job in England this year. Back in February, Slot rejected the chance to succeed Jesse Marsch at struggling Leeds United. And he also held a series of talks with Tottenham over the summer over taking over from the departed Antonio Conte.
Ultimately, he decided to stay, but it could be a different conversation were United to make a move.
For now, however, the article claims that Ten Hag still has the support of the United board. But if there is not a noticeable improvement in the coming weeks and months, then Slot is likely to become first choice of the Red Devils to replace him.