It’s been quite a Halloween for Erik ten Hag.
One which has left the Dutchman, not to mention his Manchester United bosses, wondering when the horror show will come to an end? CEO Richard Arnold could bring the curtain down now if he wanted to – and sack Ten Hag.
But despite the vultures starting to smell blood in the red half of Manchester, Arnold is prepared to bide his time. And he’ll give Ten Hag the chance to arrest the embarrassing slide.
United have form for waiting too long to dismiss managers. It happened with Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Yet Arnold has seen upcoming fixtures against Fulham, FC Copenhagen, Luton and Everton and knows Ten Hag will never get a better chance to string some wins together.
Ten Hag met with Arnold on Thursday in the wake of the shambolic home defeat to Newcastle’s reserves, to discuss a scenario which is now bleak indeed. The meeting was said to be cordial, with a defiant Ten Hag telling Arnold he remains focused on salvaging something tangible from the wreckage of a shambolic season so far.
Chief Executive Officer of Manchester United Richard Arnold (centre) will have been alarmed with the team’s performances and the results this season
Ten Hag is benefiting from the fact Arnold is aware of some mitigating circumstances. Ten Hag adjusted his team’s style of play this season on the back of signing the ball-playing goalkeeper Andre Onana.
He wanted United to be pro-active in their pressing, but lost key individuals to injuries, like Rasmus Hojlund, Mason Mount, Casemiro, Raphael Varane and Christian Eriksen. There was the Mason Greenwood fall-out to deal with, the backdrop of the ownership saga and FFP restrictions meant United couldn’t compete for the signings of Declan Rice and Harry Kane last summer.
Manchester United players were disappointing once again against Newcastle
But this is where the defence of Ten Hag comes to a shuddering halt. He picked a fight with Jadon Sancho – and his stubbornness since has resulted in Ten Hag cutting off his nose to spite his own face.
The United board backed Ten Hag, but who is winning from that scenario? The answer is no-one, and all the while Sancho’s value plummets by the week.
Erik ten Hag and Jadon Sancho’s relationship collapsed earlier in the season and hasn’t been fixed as yet
His treatment of Harry Maguire alienated him with some other players. While he wanted United to sign Antony so badly, that the club overpaid by £30m for the Brazilian flop. He’s nowhere near good enough to succeed at Old Trafford.
And just imagine the look on the faces of United executives who paid Ajax £140m for Lisandro Martinez and Antony, when Ten Hag declared this week his team would never play like the Dutch one he used to manage?
The United squad had a recovery day at Carrington on Thursday, when Ten Hag told them and his coaching staff that everyone “needed to embrace the responsibility” and “take a long look at themselves in the mirror.” He also told them there would be no day off on Friday, ahead of Saturday’s lunchtime clash with Fulham at Craven Cottage.
Angry fans at Old Trafford
Fans have become very impatient with how the club is being run, how the team is being managed and how the players are performing
That’s all well and good, but when a manager like him starts to lose the dressing room, the outcome is inevitable. Ten Hag is heading towards being toast. Another manager chewed up and spat out by a club which is set-up to fail.
Ten Hag vowed to bring the good times back to United when he was appointed in April 2022, becoming the club’s fifth different boss in nine years. But what he didn’t realise at the time about United was that the more things change there, the more things remain the same..…CONTINUE.FULL.READING>>>