Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Ten Hag sack: Man Utd boss told time’s up in scathing assessment of his abilities

Erik ten Hag, Manchester United, July 2023

Erik ten Hag has been told his managerial reign at Manchester United won’t last much longer in a brutal assessment of his coaching abilities and overall tenure at Old Trafford.

The Red Devils have unquestionably regressed this season on the back of finishing third and winning the EFL Cup last term. Man Utd have lost nine of their first 18 matches across all competitions. Three of the defeats have come in the Champions League, a situation that leaves them bottom of Group A with two games to play.

With Sir Jim Ratcliffe primed to purchase a 25 percent stake in Man Utd, major change is afoot.

CEO Richard Arnold is the first casualty of those behind the scenes. Director of Football, John Murtough, could follow and is ‘vulnerable’, according to The Telegraph.

Ratcliffe will lean on legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson when making key decisions at Man Utd. Ferguson could have a say in who replaces Murtough, with six candidates already in the frame.

The Sun also claimed Man Utd’s playing personnel are in for a shock with Ratcliffe ready to sanction a squad ‘reset’.

Talk of Ten Hag getting the boot has also done the rounds, though most outlets insist the Dutchman will be spared.

But according to former England international and prominent pundit, Jermaine Jenas, Ratcliffe should show a ruthless streak and cut Ten Hag loose.

In quotes carried by the Manchester Evening News, Jenas delivered a withering assessment of Ten Hag’s reign, including taking aim at his tactical acumen and recruitment.

“I don’t see players who have chucked the towel in, I just see players who don’t know what to do,” said Jenas. “There’s no cohesion.

“I don’t think [Ten Hag] is good enough. I’ve not seen anything in his style of management that makes me think he’s the right man to take them in the right direction.

“I can’t see what his plan is based on the players he is buying – that’s a big one for me. All he’s buying is what he knows rather than what is good for Manchester United.”

Ratcliffe, Brailsford stance on Ten Hag sack

Man Utd’s recruitment is widely regarded to have been well below par since Sir Alex Ferguson left the club just over a decade ago.

Ratcliffe intends to completely revamp the club’s transfer strategy and when casting your eye over Ten Hag’s buys, it does appear the Dutchman has made mistakes.

Mason Mount has made zero impact despite costing a hefty £55m fee. Christian Eriksen and Casemiro are both showing worrying signs of decline despite only arriving one year ago.

Elsewhere, £72m frontman Rasmus Hojlund is yet to break his duck in the Premier League.

Nonetheless, while there may be some justification to Jenas’ brutal assessment of Ten Hag, it doesn’t appear like the United boss will be removed any time soon.

An update on Ten Hag’s situation from ESPN on November 13 revealed Ratcliffe as well as INEOS chief Sir Dave Brailsford ‘have been impressed by the job done by Ten Hag since he took over as manager in 2022’.

The report noted Ratcliffe is ‘alarmed’ by United’s drop-off this season, though concluded Ratcliffe does not view Ten Hag as part of the problem.

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