Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Ten Hag sack: ‘Alarm bell’ moment leaves Man Utd with no choice as Tuchel narrows choice to two

Erik ten Hag is under pressure of the Man Utd sack, with Thomas Tuchel a candidate to replace him

Erik ten Hag is under pressure of the Man Utd sack, with Thomas Tuchel a candidate to replace him

Rio Ferdinand has revealed the brutal decision he believes Manchester United have reached on sacking Erik ten Hag, while their chances of landing Thomas Tuchel have significantly improved after the German made clear what his future holds.

The Red Devils have endured a hugely-bumpy season which has marred with controversies and inconsistencies throughout. That ultimately saw Manchester United finish in eighth – their lowest league finish since the 1989/90 season – and potentially missing out on European football altogether next season.

Incredibly, United can still salvage something from the wreckage of their season by winning the FA Cup on Saturday. However, with double Double seeking Manchester City standing in their way, few will fancy their chances of an upset at Wembley stadium in a repeat of the 2023 final.

Indeed, United went into last year’s showpiece in a better place and mindset, yet 12 months, the club finds itself in somewhat disarray.

Having lost a record 14 times in the Premier League this season, as well as being completely humiliated in the Champions League, Ten Hag has faced speculation over when he might lose his job from the autumn.

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And with technical director Jason Wilcox having undergone an in-depth audit over the Dutchman’s suitabilities to carry on into a third season, the writing has very much appeared to be on the wall for Ten Hag.

Those sack calls have grown considerably louder in recent weeks, with the 4-0 trouncing at Crystal Palace seen as a tipping point for many.

Indeed, following that game, two former players in Michael Owen and Paul Scholes called for his instant removal, with a surprise name suggested to take up the reins on an interim basis.

Ten Hag sack: Rio Ferdinand reveals brutal Man Utd verdict

However, United resisted the temptation to remove Ten Hag from his role with any decision put on ice until the season’s end.

But in assessing how the campaign has gone for United, Ferdinand has now revealed why he is convinced that Saturday will be Ten Hag’s final act as manager and believes the axe will fall a matter of days after the FA Cup final – regardless of the result.

Speaking on his Vibe with FIVE YouTube channel, Ferdinand said: “The more and more I think about it, win or lose, I don’t think Ten Hag will be there come next season.

“I’m not saying that’s what I want, I’m just saying what I believe is going to happen, and I believe that the club are going to look elsewhere I think.

“I don’t think [winning the FA Cup] changes anything in the eyes of INEOS. I’ve not spoken to anyone there, this is just an assumption, this is what I think.”

Ferdinand added: “Put injuries aside, the performances of the team have been so bad. Most teams have had injuries, maybe not to the same extent as Man United.

“I keep saying this, I sound like a broken record: performance level can drop but your style of football should be there to identify. It’s not. I don’t know what we are. I don’t know who we are. Who are we as a team? What are we?

“We rely [on Bruno Fernandes]. And that would be an alarm bell for me. The moment Bruno came out of the team, the fall-off of that team was a joke. The worst performances I’ve seen in many, many years against Crystal Palace.”

Dwight Yorke makes Ten Hag sack prediction

Ferdinand ended: “If I was Man Utd now, and I was INEOS, or I was advising them now, I would go and get a coach. I want the best coach around.

“Someone who speaks the language, yes. Someone who can communicate with the players. But someone who can implement a playing style and really coach the hell out of young players, experienced players.

“Gel players together, create a cohesive unit that we can all look at. Create a team now, a good team.”

United Treble winner Dwight Yorke was slightly more sympathetic, claiming victory in the cup final could yet save Ten Hag.

He stated: “If Erik ten Hag wins the FA Cup then he deserves another year, but if he doesn’t, then he has to go. If I were to win two major trophies in two years, I’d like to think that counts as success. However, if they don’t beat Manchester City, then you really have to look back at some of the stats and performances throughout the season.

“If you look at where Manchester United are in the table – 19 defeats in all competitions, scoring the least goals they’ve ever managed in the Premier League and not playing exciting football, the numbers don’t really add up. It’s a very cut-throat business, but the numbers don’t look great for Ten Hag.”

Next Man Utd manager: Tuchel opens door as talks begin

United have been linked with a plethora of options if the axe does fall on Ten Hag, with Graham Potter, Roberto De Zerbi, Thomas Frank and Gareth Southgate among those linked on a regular basis.

However, the name that has persistently been mentioned in recent weeks is Thomas Tuchel – with United’s pathway to his signature opening up in the wake of confirmation that the 50-year-old was to leave Bayern Munich at the end of the season.

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Tuchel’s final game saw the side blow a 2-0 lead to lose 4-2 to Hoffenheim, resulting in Bayern finishing in third place in the Bundesliga and probably vindicating their decision to part ways.

But it seems the former Chelsea manager will not have long to wait to get back into work after journalist Florian Plettenberg revealed he was in talks with ‘one or two concrete options’ already.

And with United also believed to have started ‘loose talks’ with Tuchel there seems a strong belief that he will be back in football sooner rather than later.

On that note, it’s also understood that Tuchel has firmly set his sights on claiming a job back in the Premier League and also amid uncertainty surrounding Mauricio Pochettino at Chelsea.

And those two jobs are the positions he has set his sights on. However, if neither Ten Hag or Pochettino lose their jobs, Tuchel is understood to be ready to take a break from the game and will return to England when the next major opportunity arises.

United, for their part, will know they will never have a better opportunity than now and that FOMO factor could be enough to force them to act.