Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Ten Hag sack: Man Utd boss told he’s ‘dying’ at Old Trafford as Ornstein drops big Kieran McKenna update

Ipswich boss Kieran McKenna has been linked with a move to Manchester United as a replacement for Erik ten Hag

Kieran McKenna has been linked with a move to Manchester United as a replacement for Erik ten Hag

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has been torn to shreds in the Dutch media for his post-match speech at Old Trafford on Wednesday, while David Ornstein has provided a significant update on Kieran McKenna amid claims the Ipswich boss is a firm candidate to replace him.

The Dutchman enjoyed a triumphant first season at the helm guiding the Red Devils to a top three finish in the Premier League as well as two cup finals, with success arriving in the Carabao Cup. And while he could still win an even more prestigious trophy this time around with the FA Cup final contested in a week’s time, it’s been a season of major underachievement for all associated with Manchester United.

Having crashed out of European football entirely before Christmas off the back of a disastrous Champions League campaign, that poor form has spilled over into the Premier League with United losing a club record 14 times in the league this season.

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With their final league game of the season coming at Brighton on Sunday, United need a win to ensure they don’t suffer their lowest-ever points return in Premier League history, which stands at the 58 they won in the 2021/22 season. United currently have 57, which has them sitting in eighth place and in danger of missing out on European football altogether.

Such form – together with the kamikaze tactics employed by the Dutchman – has seen Ten Hag’s position come under serious threat and claims of him being sacked are never far from the news.

Sources have told TEAMtalk that the United boss has lost the trust of a number of senior stars at Old Trafford over the course of this season.

Ten Hag sack: Dutchman told he’s ‘dying’ at Man Utd

Ten Hag himself has been conducting himself as though he will be in charge once again next season, insisting he remains the right man for the job and addressing the crowd in a confident and relaxed manner following Wednesday’s hard-fought but entertaining 3-2 win over Newcastle at Old Trafford.

“On behalf of the players, the staff and myself, I’d like to thank you all for the brilliant support during the season,” he said.

“As you know, it wasn’t an easy season, but one thing remained constant, and that was the backing of you for the team.

“But this season is not over yet. First at Brighton, we go for three points again, and then we go to Wembley.

“I promise you that those players will give everything. Everything to end it good, to win the cup and bring it to Old Trafford.

“And we are sure that you will be there, supporting us. Thank you for being the best supporters in the world. Thank you!”

Despite that somewhat rousing speech, Ten Hag has been taken to the cleaners in his native Netherlands for his futile attempts to galvanise the club.

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Analsying both his comments and his chances of remaining in the job, journalists René van der Gijp and Johan Derksen, together with TV presenter Wilfred Genee all had their say.

“I did have my reservations about that speech on the pitch. He just kicks in open doors,” Van der Gijp said.

“That man is dying a bit there. Pretty painful or not?”, presenter Genee asked, while Derksen labelled them as “a bit of desperation speech”.

“These are his last convulsions,” Van der Gijp concluded, pointing to his likely sacking as manager.

Next Man Utd manager: Ornstein provides update on Kieran McKenna

With Ten Hag feeling the heat, minority shareholder Sir Jim Ratcliffe is reportedly considering the merits of a number of would-be successors to the Dutchman at Old Trafford.

And while the likes of Gareth Southgate, Graham Potter, Thomas Tuchel and Roberto De Zerbi have all been touted as options, former United coach McKenna has leapt firmly into contention over recent days.

The Ipswich coach has won back-to-back promotions with the Tractor Boys since taking charge, earning them a return to the Premier League for the first time in 22 years.

Despite McKenna’s strong links to the club, trusted reporter Ornstein has moved to play down his chances of taking on the job.

“I imagine he is among many names they are looking at if they undertake a managerial change,” the journalist told Back Pages podcast.

“McKenna is young, which is something I hear Sir Jim Ratcliffe is keen on should Man United need to make an appointment. He has (been) doing fantastically well at Ipswich, and has close ties to (United).”

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“But from the checks I’ve made, there has been no movement from Man United towards McKenna. And, at present, the prospect is not expected to develop.”

The EFL’s most experienced boss Neil Warnock also doubts McKenna is ready for such a job, commenting on talkSPORT: “There’s no way he goes to Man Utd. He’s not ready for Man Utd yet.”

On his achievements at Ipswich, Warnock added: “Everything (Ipswich) have done – to get two promotions – it’s not easy. “There’s no reason why they don’t sustain it. It is going to be difficult, all three promoted teams have gone down, but there’s a good atmosphere at Ipswich.”