Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Ten Hag sack: Man Utd star’s brother rips apart ‘boring’ tactics as Sir Alex Ferguson ally offers excuse

Erik ten Hag could face the Manchester United sack after the 4-0 defeat at Crystal Palace

Erik ten Hag could face the Man Utd sack after the 4-0 defeat at Crystal Palace

Claims that Erik ten Hag faces the sack at Manchester United are gathering pace with the Dutchman’s tactics rinsed by Alejandro Garnacho’s brother, although one of Sir Alex Ferguson’s former No 2’s has offered a defence of the struggling coach.

The Red Devils have stumbled from one crisis to another this season, with their season sinking to a new nadir on Monday night as Crystal Palace romped to a deserved 4-0 triumph at Selhurst Park. With Michael Olise running the show, Manchester United had no answer to the Eagles as Oliver Glasner showed exactly why Eagles supporters have big hopes for their future with a thoroughly-commanding display.

As a result, pressure on Ten Hag’s future has reached boiling point, with former stars Michael Owen and Paul Scholes explaining why the axe needs to fall immediately and even talking up the merits of a surprise interim.

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The Dutchman is currently close to completing his second year of a three-year contract, but there now must be serious question marks over his prospects of him continuing into next season, so bad and disjointed was their performance on Monday night.

His future was in some doubt anyway, with technical director Jason Wilcox currently performing an audit on the Dutchman’s position.

And with comparisons being made to the 4-1 defeat at Watford back in November 2021 that proved Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s final match in charge, it would not come as a major surprise were the Red Devils to have now decided enough is enough and be putting more thoughts into exactly who should step into the United hotseat in his place.

Ten Hag sack: Rene Meulensteen has sympathy for struggling Man Utd boss

With reports suggesting Sir Jim Ratcliffe is strongly considering turning to Thomas Tuchel, who is leaving Bayern Munich at the season’s end, one man who does have some sympathy for his situation is Ferguson’s former assistant coach Meulensteen.

The Dutchman, who worked as Sir Alex’s No 2 from 2007 to 2013, believes there are multiple factors to blame for United’s slump this season, with Ten Hag not wholly responsible for the way their season has fallen to pieces.

Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, Meulenseen commented: “It is not just the players, everyone is accountable. Ten Hag is responsible for bringing a lot of those players, he’s responsible for the system of play and the preparation. The players then have to respond to that but clearly somewhere it is disjointed.

“And he [Ten Hag] says after the game that they didn’t follow their rules, and there’s two reasons why that happens – either they don’t want to or they can’t, because they don’t have that quality. So yeah, it is a tough situation

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“Whereas Oliver Glasner is still quite new to Crystal Palace but look at what he has achieved in the space of just a few months. He has turned around a team that was quite lost but now they look so confident and that is not the case for United.”

Explaining why his countryman could be given a stay of execution by the Red Devils, he added: “He [Ten Hag] does still have a future at Old Trafford, if Jim Ratcliffe thinks he has a future then of course he does.

“But again, I’m just repeating myself all the time and we’ve spoken about this a lot. There has to be clarity, and the sooner the better. You’re in a new transfer window with a lot of change, there’s some new people in very important positions.

“And they have to devise the new direction that the club is going to take. Is that going to be with Erik Ten Hag? If it’s a yes then great, but if it’s a no then they have got to be clear about that, the direction they want and how they are going about it.”

Alejandro Garnacho brother destroys Man Utd tactics under Ten Hag

With Ten Hag remaining in situ, he could face an awkward moment or two with winger Alejandro Garnacho when the pair meet up in training after the Argentina international’s younger brother very publicly destroyed the United performance and hit out at the tactics being deployed by the Dutchman.

Taking to X, formerly Twitter, the young Garnacho began by asking: “What are we good at?”

He then added: “I’ll accept if we lose and we tried, if we have better and worse days, but this…

“Playing backwards every single minute, it’s embarrassing.”

He continued: “Their centre-backs or full-backs get the ball and instantly go up, two or three passes and they’ve already created a chance.

‘And it’s *%^!ing boring to see us playing [Andre] Onana and then booting it away.”

Replying to those who may have disagreed with his argument, the younger Garnacho then added: “If you say this [that Garnacho needs to improve] today you are simply being a hater.

“When he tried and he did dribble his full-back then he was going to cross but no-one was in the box. There is nothing to do in the team we had nowadays and the way we play.

“Then you see their wingers, how they got the ball and no-one comes to defend them, and they have all the space to do whatever.”

United have three games remaining in the Premier League, with a tricky home date with Premier League title contenders Arsenal on Sunday.

They also face Newcastle (home) on Wednesday week before finishing the league campaign against Brighton, with the FA Cup final at Wembley on Saturday May 25.

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