Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Ten Hag sack: Man Utd told to axe Dutchman NOW with shock stand-in boss named

Manchester United have been told to sack Erik ten Hag instantly

Manchester United have been told to sack Erik ten Hag instantly

Manchester United have been told they must instantly sack Erik ten Hag in the wake of Monday’s embarrassing 4-0 thrashing at Crystal Palace, with a surprise interim boss named and with the Dutchman coming out fighting and making a big declaration on his future.

The 54-year-old enjoyed an excellent first season at the helm, guiding Manchester United to Carabao Cup final success, the FA Cup final and, most importantly of all, a third-place finish in the Premier League. However, all that good work appears to have been undone over an alarming season that has seen the club stumble from one crisis to another.

And while they can still win the FA Cup if they somehow manage to overcome Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, there will be few who believe in their chances right now, especially after witnessing their season stumble to a new nadir on Monday night as Oliver Glasner’s Eagles deservedly beat them 4-0 at a bouncing Selhurst Park on Monday evening.


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The Eagles were great value for the win, with Michael Olise running the show and scoring two fantastic goals to pile the pressure on Ten Hag.

The Dutchman is close to completing his second season of a three-year contract, and while the club do hold the option to extend that by a further year, there is a growing school of thought that suggests the time may be right for a change of manager.

And with United’s recently-appointed technical director Jason Wilcox currently undergoing a detailed review of the Dutchman’s credentials to continue into a third season, Monday’s loss will surely have given him, and minority shareholder Sir Jim Ratcliffe, more reasons to pull the trigger.

Man Utd told to sack Ten Hag instantly

However, so disjointed was the United performance on Monday night, that former Red Devils striker turned pundit Michael Owen has instructed his former club to not delay their decision to sack Ten Hag and make the instant decision to remove him as manager.

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Suggesting that performance at Selhurst Park means it surely must be the end of the road for the beleaguered Dutchman, Owen is adamant that radical changes must be made right now to salvage their season.

“I’ve said it for a long time that Ten Hag is not the right man for this job, I’ve been saying it for ages and ages,” Owen told Premier League Productions after United’s Selhurst Park hammering.

“He cannot, simply cannot, manage the team next season.

“I almost wonder now, they’ve got a cup final and they’ve got a few important games that could mean European football next year or not.

“At some point you’ve got to make a decision, they’re going to get absolutely hammered by Manchester City [in the FA Cup final], they’re going to get annihilated, in fact, Arsenal will smash them to bits at Old Trafford, Newcastle will probably beat them and I wouldn’t even fancy them going to Brighton either. They might not get anything out of the rest of the season, playing like that.

“I just wonder there’s just so much at stake, even if it’s only for four games, I wonder whether the board might just have to try to do something here and now and be quite radical about it.

“He cannot, simply cannot, manage this team next season. He’s not good enough. I’ve thought it for ages, and he’s just not good enough to manage Manchester United.”

Ten Hag sack: Palace defeat the ‘final nail in the coffin’

His fellow pundit, Paul Scholes, sat alongside him, reckons that loss surely must prove the end of the line for Ten Hag, comparing the loss to the 4-1 defeat United suffered at Watford back in November 2021 that proved Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s last match in charge.

“It’s been a difficult one, I know Michael’s saying he’s felt it for a long time and the signs have been there that it’s going to be difficult for him to do it next year,” said Scholes.

“But tonight felt like the final nail in the coffin, really.

“There was a lack of know-how from the team, a lack of effort which is the big disappointing thing.

“It felt like the end. If it is the end, I’m not sure what’s out there at the minute.

“I’ve felt he might get another year and work for a club that has calmed down a little bit by the new owners but it just doesn’t feel like it now.

“Who was there to replace him? There wasn’t really anybody. Now with Thomas Tuchel saying he’s leaving Bayern Munich, I think that doesn’t create a bigger problem for him because I think the problems are there anyway, it’s quite plain to see it feels like borrowed time.

“Watching that performance tonight, sometimes you get those performances where you think, ‘this is the end’. That almost felt like it. I remember Ole Gunnar [Solskjaer] at Watford away. It felt very similar to me, it just fell at the end.

“But what do you do for the last four games? You’ve got a big cup final. You can’t see where a win is coming from. They can’t beat Burnley at home.”

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When it was suggested that Steve McClaren, Ten Hag’s assistant, should replace him on an interim basis, Owen replied: “They’ve got to try something different. Anything. Yes.”

McClaren is something of a maligned figure in the game following his ill-fated spell as England coach.

However, both Owen and Scholes argue he could bring something different to the table and are adamant their recent performances have nothing to do with United’s No 2.

“We’ve played under Steve McClaren, he’s coached us, there’s no way that his fingerprints are anywhere near that team,” Owen explained.

“He is a brilliant, brilliant coach and that team is not being coached at all. No way Steve McClaren is the first-team coach.’

Scholes then added: “It suggests to me he’s not touching that team. The manager [Ten Hag] must not be letting him touch that team, I don’t think.

“Everyone thinks we were a great team that attacked everyone and went at people, sometimes we played against better teams and Steve McClaren put better sessions on to make sure you stopped other teams, getting the distances right, getting your angles right, especially in centre midfield, across all midfield.

“And he has got no impression on that [Ten Hag] team whatsoever. He’s the best coach I ever had.”

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Owen then said of McClaren: “He’s a brilliant, brilliant coach. There’s no way on earth he’s got anything to do with coaching that team. It’s impossible. Because that team is absolutely clueless, right the way through it. There’s not one thing I think works in that team. I don’t rate anything about it.

“Steve McClaren is a top operator and I can only think he’s there and there’s other people are coaching the first team and he’s just a bystander.”

Asked about the prospects of McClaren taking charge of United for their final four games, Owen said: “For four games, yeah… anything.

“They’re going to get smashed out of the ball park by every team playing like that today.

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“Manchester City are going to demoralise them at Wembley in front of millions of people, it’s just embarrassing how they’re playing, something’s got to change, I know it’s going to change in the summer but I think it’s got to change now. There’s European football next year, this is a trophy.”

Despite all the noise on his future, Ten Hag is adamant he is not going anywhere and insists he remains the right man in charge.

“Absolutely,” he replied when asked if he was still the right person for the job.

“If the right players are available, we have a good squad. We miss almost the whole backline and then we have problems.”

“I will keep fighting. I prepared the team in the best way I could do. It was not good enough, I have to take responsibility for that but I will find energy and prepare them for Sunday’s game.”