Manchester United

Manchester United

Premier League • England

Ten Hag vows to ‘go somewhere else and win trophies’ after Guardiola calls Man Utd boss ‘extraordinary’

Erik ten Hag with Pep Guardiola in the background

Erik ten Hag got the better of Pep Guardiola in the FA Cup final

Pep Guardiola is unsure what the future holds for his opposite number after Manchester City lost the FA Cup final to Manchester United, whose manager Erik ten Hag has given an impassioned response about what comes next.

Going into the FA Cup final, for which Man City were the favourites, there were reports that Man Utd would sack Ten Hag regardless of what the result was. Ultimately, the jubilant scenes after United’s shock 2-1 win has led some to wonder if the manager does actually deserve more time.

Ten Hag has already admitted that the criticism on him has been too harsh and that he has led United to a better place than when he took charge in the summer of 2022.

And in his post-match press conference, Ten Hag has made an even more defiant statement, implying to United that they will be letting go of a future trophy winner if they do dismiss him.

“If they don’t want me anymore, I’ll go somewhere else and win trophies because that’s what I’ve done my whole career,” Ten Hag said.

Not many managers outwit Guardiola, whose side beat Ten Hag’s in last year’s final, but most pundits agreed that United were tactically superior to City on this occasion.

When Guardiola himself was asked about Ten Hag’s future, he labelled his counterpart ‘an extraordinary manager’.

Guardiola said: “They have to take a decision.

“I don’t know, but he is lovely person, an extraordinary manager. Winning the FA Cup was important for them like it was for us last season.”

Ten Hag has now put two trophies in United’s cabinet after lifting the Carabao Cup last season. However, their lowest ever Premier League finish – eighth, some 31 points behind champions City – has heightened pressure on him.

Erik ten Hag Man Utd stats

Previously the winner of six trophies with Ajax, what Ten Hag’s next job would be if he was to leave Man Utd is up for question.

The 54-year-old has also had spells in charge of Go Ahead Eagles, Bayern Munich’s reserves and Utrecht before really making a name for himself.

Outspoken former United captain Roy Keane urged the club to enjoy the moment and cross the bridge of addressing Ten Hag’s future further down the line.

Keane told ITV: “We don’t know if a decision has been made. We know the pressure the manager is under and the questions before the game.

“It’s always difficult when you are preparing for a cup final. In football you have to enjoy these moments – the staff, the players, the supporters – and then cross the bridge when it comes to it.

“The manager has done his job today. Beating Man City in a FA Cup final is an extra bonus. Fingers crossed they support the manager.”

IN DEPTH – Every brilliant teenager Man Utd have been linked with as Ratcliffe ignites bold new transfer strategy

Guardiola confesses to wrong gameplan

Before dubbing Ten Hag ‘extraordinary’, Guardiola was complimentary of United’s performance and acknowledged he got it wrong himself tactically.

He said: “Congratulations to Manchester United for winning the FA Cup. I think my game plan was not good.

“The second half was much, much better. We were more intense, in part because we were 2-0 down and had nothing to lose.

“It was a tight game. We gave away the first goal, they made a good transition for the second so credit to United for the second goal. We tried.

“We had clear chances in the second half which wasn’t easy because they had man marking and defended the pockets but we had the chances and unfortunately we scored a goal a little bit late. Maybe it could have been different but the team was there like all the time when we lose.

“Disappointed today, it’s normal teams can lose finals but this season has been extraordinary fighting for all the trophies in a good way. We will rest and come back next season.”

READ MOREMan Utd book in transfer talks after cup final for ‘perfect match’ whose fee has increased