‘It is the end for Ten Hag – there is no coming back’

Home » ‘It is the end for Ten Hag – there is no coming back’

Erik ten Hag’s reign as Manchester United manager is reaching the end and there is “no coming back”, says former Premier League striker Chris Sutton.

United reached the FA Cup final on Sunday, but needed penalties to beat Championship side Coventry, despite leading 3-0 with 20 minutes to go at Wembley.

They are seventh in the Premier League, 16 points off the top four, and were eliminated in the Champions League group stage this season.

“I really don’t know where Ten Hag goes from this,” said Sutton on BBC Radio 5 Live’s Monday Night Club.

“It is the end for him now – there is no way he is coming back after that.”

Former Newcastle and Manchester City goalkeeper Shay Given agreed, saying: “The writing is definitely on the wall for him.

“It doesn’t look good for him – he looked lost at times on the touchline. There is a lot of noise around the club at the moment.”

Goals from Scott McTominay, Harry Maguire and Bruno Fernandes had put the Reds in control.

Ten Hag took winger Alejandro Garnacho off before Coventry’s first goal, and Kobbie Mainoo was replaced immediately after.

Both have been bright sparks for United this season.

“After the game people are looking at Ten Hag’s substitutions but even he couldn’t have foreseen that as the worse scenario. They were cruising,” said Sutton, who won the Premier League with Blackburn in 1995.

“The performance after 70 minutes was pretty symptomatic of how Manchester United have played this season – they lost control.

“They couldn’t regain control and that has been the issue all season.”

Ten Hag, who won the Carabao Cup in his first season in charge last year, admitted his side “got away with one” but said it was “not an embarrassment”.

“We can play on very high levels, but we can go to very low levels in the same game,” said Ten Hag. “That’s not explainable.

“I have to teach my players, clear. We have to do better on such occasions. On several occasions we let each other down. Today we got away with it.”

United will face Manchester City in the FA Cup final on 25 May, in a repeat of last season’s final which the Blues won 2-1 on their way to a historic Treble.

Danny Murphy told BBC Match of the Day that winning the trophy “doesn’t matter” when discussing Ten Hag’s future.

But former Manchester United defender Gary Neville told Sky Sports on Sunday: “Winning trophies cannot be underestimated. They won a trophy last season [the Carabao Cup] and if they won the FA Cup it would be extremely difficult to sack him.”

Ten Hag clearly under pressure – analysis

Simon Stone, BBC Sport chief football reporter

Since his co-ownership was announced on Christmas Eve, Sir Jim Ratcliffe and new United director Sir Dave Brailsford have presided over a complete overhaul of United’s backroom team.

The latest appointment was Jason Wilcox as technical director after his exit from Southampton was successfully negotiated.

United hope to secure the services of Dan Ashworth as sporting director but there is still no agreement on that with Newcastle and as it presently stands, it could be September, once the summer transfer window has closed, that the deal is finally completed.

Ten Hag is clearly under pressure.

However, his supporters continue to make the comparison with Mikel Arteta, who won the FA Cup in his first season as Arsenal boss but also finished eighth twice and then fifth before getting the squad he wanted.

Their win percentage is broadly similar, which fuels belief the situation is not quite as bad as some of the recent performances have made it appear.

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