Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Ten Hag receives ultimate put-down as Man Utd sack nears; Ratcliffe told which Prem rival he must copy

Man Utd manager Erik ten Hag and co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe

Erik ten Hag and Man Utd part-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe

Erik ten Hag has come in for a particularly painful piece of criticism that will sting, while claims from the Netherlands state the Manchester United boss won’t be at the helm next season.

Prior to Sunday’s Manchester derby, claims Erik ten Hag won’t be in the United dugout next season were already swirling. Indeed, TEAMtalk has been told the Dutchman is effectively a ‘dead man walking’ at Old Trafford.

Major change is expected in Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s first summer as co-owner of Man Utd. The British billionaire has assumed full sporting control at the club and aims to oversee a radical revamp across multiple aspects of the club.

A new CEO – Omar Berrada – has been drafted in by way of Man City. Newcastle’s Dan Ashworth is wanted for the sporting director role, while a sweeping squad rebuild is also expected.

The managerial position could also see a change made, with all manner of bosses including Graham Potter, Roberto De Zerbi, Thomas Tuchel, Zinedine Zidane and Simone Inzaghi all linked by one outlet or another thus far.

Now, according to former Netherlands striker and De Telegraaf columnist, Wim Kieft, the writing is on the wall for Ten Hag. Kieft racked up 43 caps for his country during his playing days and thrived at club level for both Ajax and PSV Eindhoven.

Ten Hag’s Man Utd “not worth watching”

In his latest piece for De Telegraaf, Kieft stated he fully expects Ten Hag to lose his job in the summer.

Furthermore, Kieft brutally claimed Ten Hag’s Man Utd are simply “not worth watching.”

That is a piece of criticism that will sting Ten Hag who oversaw an incredibly attractive and high energy brand of football at former club Ajax.

Finally, Kieft suggested Ratcliffe should look no further than bitter rivals Man City when seeking inspiration for how Man Utd should operate on and off the field.

“Ten Hag did not manage to get his way of playing at United,” began Kieft. “The football at Manchester United is still not worth watching and that is why I expect Ten Hag to be in his last year.

“The environment in which he has to work at United is also completely different from that at City.

“You see a certain atmosphere among the neighbours, there is a true football culture and everything at the top resembles a team.

“Txiki Begiristain is the technical director and, apart from Guardiola, he works with more former Barcelona people.

“United hasn’t had a team like that for a long time. There must be something seriously wrong with that club. Because [Jose] Mourinho and [Louis] Van Gaal were not small trainers who died there either.”

Derby defeat sums up gulf in class on and off the field

Ten Hag’s side did show plenty of fight and determination during the derby, though ultimately fell to a 3-1 defeat as City’s relentless pressure finally told in the second half.

City dominated the possession stakes with a mark of 73 percent. The eye-watering difference in shots attempted (27 vs three) also summed up the gulf in class.

United largely sat back and soaked up pressure rather than attempting to go toe-to-toe with City like Arsenal and Liverpool have done in recent times.

It could be argued Man Utd simply don’t have the quality of player to take the fight to their near neighbours.

If so, that would indicate a failing of the club’s recruitment process over a number of years and would play into Kieft’s point regarding City being a club who are far better run.

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