Erik Ten Hag to remain Man Utd manager

Ten Hag went into the game against Manchester City at Wembley amid a backdrop of reports claiming he would be sacked no matter the outcome
Erik Ten Hag to remain Man Utd manager
Erik ten Hag won the FA Cup last month, his second major trophy in 2 seasons at Manchester United./PHOTO COURTESY

Erik Ten Hag will remain as manager of Manchester United following a post-season review by the club’s board. It is understood they are now talking to Ten Hag about extending his contract, which is about to enter its final season. United instigated their review immediately after the FA Cup final.

Ten Hag went into the game against Manchester City at Wembley amid a backdrop of reports claiming he would be sacked no matter the outcome.

Instead, United’s deserved 2-1 victory allowed the club hierarchy to approach the review in a more positive light.

It is understood what are being described as “constructive conversations” with Ten Hag have taken place around the outcome of the review.

All eventualities were considered and the clear preference was for the 54-year-old Dutchman to remain in charge.

Ten Hag is known to be delighted at the outcome, though there were suggestions he was getting irritated at the time taken for United to reach it.

United do not believe two weeks is an unreasonable length of time to conduct a thorough assessment of what is the first season under a change of ownership.

Former Bayern Munich boss Thomas Tuchel is thought to have spoken to new United co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe last week but ruled himself out of the running, while the club’s interest in Mauricio Pochettino cooled even though he was available after his exit from Chelsea.

Former Brighton and Chelsea boss Graham Potter, Brentford manager Thomas Frank, Ex-Brighton boss Roberto de Zerbi and England manager Gareth Southgate have also been linked with the job.

Brentford were never contacted about Frank, and appointing Southgate this summer was impossible because of his commitments with England.

United finished eighth last season – their lowest position in the Premier League era. They suffered the most injuries with 45 separate cases recorded, a fact Ten Hag often cited for some below-par displays.

The Dutchman took charge at Old Trafford in the summer of 2022 and is United’s fifth permanent manager since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013, following David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

He arrived at Old Trafford following a successful four-and-a-half-year spell at Ajax during which he won three Eredivisie titles and two Dutch Cups.

In his debut season he led the club to third place in the Premier League, along with the EFL Cup and FA Cup finals.

He won his first trophy as United boss in February 2023 when the Red Devils beat Newcastle to lift the EFL Cup but they were beaten by Manchester City in the FA Cup final three months later.

The 2023-24 season proved more difficult, including an early exit from the Champions League after finishing bottom of their group.

United started poorly with 6 defeats in their opening ten games, including to Galatasaray and Bayern Munich in the Champions League. They also finished weakly; despite the FA Cup final triumph, they only won 5 of their final twelve matches in all competitions.

Ratcliffe sticks with Ten Hag

Ratcliffe’s Ineos group bought a 27.7% stake in the club in December and new director Sir David Brailsford has since been conducting a review of football operations at Old Trafford.

Ratcliffe had hinted at retaining Ten Hag in January when he said the “environment” at the club was not set up for managers to succeed.

“In the last eleven years, Manchester United have had a lot of coaches and nobody has been very successful in that environment. That says to me there is something wrong with the environment,” said Ratcliffe.

Confirmation Ten Hag is staying means United can now finally look to build after a difficult campaign, and explore the transfer market.

Ten Hag was backed last summer with the signings of goalkeeper Andre Onana, midfielder Mason Mount and forward Rasmus Hojlund.

During his period in charge, Ten Hag has also had to deal with numerous off-field issues.

Forward Mason Greenwood joined Getafe on loan after an internal investigation decided his future was best served away from Old Trafford, while winger Antony was given leave after allegations in Brazil against him from a former girlfriend, which he denies.

Less than a month into the season, winger Jadon Sancho was dropped from the squad after refusing to apologise to Ten Hag for claiming he had been made a “scapegoat” by the Dutchman.


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