Robbie Savage has told TEAMtalk why he fully expects Erik ten Hag to turn things around at Manchester United and why talk of him getting the sack at Old Trafford is coming far too soon – but admits all hope of Premier League glory is on hold for another season at least.
The Dutchman finds himself under early pressure at United after seeing his side lose three of their first five games, making it the club’s worst-ever start to a Premier League season.
With United facing Bayern Munich next in the Champions League, the games do not get any easier, with one observer feeling the sub-standard displays Ten Hag is serving up, together with his failure to handle discipline at the club, leaves him in danger of losing his job already.
Savage, however, is adamant that the time to sack Ten Hag is definitely not now.
After the promise shown by United last season, he insists the Dutchman has earned the right for a greater show of patience from supporters over the way this season is panning out.
“If you’re a Manchester United fan, you’re not going to be happy with things right now, and if they carry on like this, questions will be asked,” Savage told TEAMtalk.
“But you’ve got to give a manager time to get the job right. You know me, I never like to say a manager should be sacked. We don’t see the ins and outs, what goes on behind closed doors, what the coaching staff are thinking, all the culmination of all the week’s work going into team selection. I don’t know what happened at Manchester United.”
Too soon for Ten Hag sack talk at Man Utd – Savage
Savage, who started his own career as a youth player at Old Trafford, before enjoying success elsewhere with Leicester and Blackburn, is adamant the United boss can turn things around.
“What I will say though, on the base of last year, how on earth can you now say after five games to a manager: ‘Yeah, it’s no longer working and you are no longer going to be the manager of Manchester United’?
“On the basis of what he did last year, this guy needs a bit of time to try and turn it around, because it’s not been good enough But for me, you have to give him an opportunity. I think he will turn it around.
“It’s all in the detail, but he has the right players and staff around him to make it work.
“You know, his coaching staff Steve McClaren, I think they will turn around yeah and the worry now is that you’re looking at the way Brighton are performing, you look at Newcastle, you know where their capability, you look at Liverpool the way they’ve started, you look at Spurs… but then you look at Chelsea -all that money they have spent – and they are yet to hit the ground running too.”
However, United are already a distant nine points adrift of reigning champions Manchester City and Savage has explained why they are already out the title race just five games in.
New target set for Man Utd
As a result, the Welshman reckons the club may need to revise their season’s targets and realise that retaining a place in the top four would represent another solid season for the Red Devils.
“Again, the worry for Manchester United fans now would be it looks like top four is going to be a real difficult ask after five games. But I think that he will turn it around. They still can achieve success this season and they can do that by getting into that top four again.”