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Pundit Suggests Man Utd ‘Already Know’ Future of Erik ten Hag

Erik ten Hag watches Manchester United 2-0 loss to West Ham

Former Manchester United captain Gary Neville believes the club has already decided Erik ten Hag’s future. He told Sky Sports that the outcome may already be determined regardless of the team’s performance in securing a Champions League spot. United’s recent loss to Fulham ended their four-match winning streak in the Premier League, placing them eight points away from the top four.

While finishing fifth could ensure a spot in the next season’s Champions League due to the revamped format, Neville expressed concerns about the team’s playing style under Ten Hag during Monday Night Football.

Lack of Clear Playing Philosophy: A Cause for Concern

Major Changes Could Be Expected Under INEOS Era

Neville suggested that the involvement of new minority shareholder Sir Jim Ratcliffe in football operations and the recruitment of executives like Omar Berrada and potentially Dan Ashworth, could indicate a swift decision-making process regarding the managerial position. “If you look at [Omar Berrada] coming in from City as CEO, and looking to get Dan Ashworth from Newcastle, they’re going to make a decision quite quickly if they haven’t already,” he said.

Read More: Erik ten Hag Responds to Jamie Carragher’s ‘Subjective’ Manchester United vs Fulham Analysis on Monday Night Football

“I suspect Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Dave Brailsford already know whether Erik ten Hag will be the manager next season. I can’t believe they’re going to wait until May to make that decision, and then leave themselves short. Where Man Utd have been found out in the last 10 years in recruitment is making poor decisions, late decisions, not being ahead of the game. I don’t think they’re going to do that, so for me I suspect they’ve already come to a conclusion already. It may already be that it’s Champions League or not, they still will stick with that decision.”

The former club captain emphasized the importance of proactive decision-making, citing their historical recruitment issues and the need to avoid delays in crucial determinations.

Speculations Abound: What Next For Ten Hag?

Neville also addressed the lack of a clear playing philosophy compared to other top teams like Liverpool and Manchester City under Jurgen Klopp and Pep Guardiola, respectively. He raised concerns about the team’s inconsistent performances and tactical vulnerabilities, indicating a need for clarity and direction under the Dutch manager. Despite his efforts to lead the team, the Red Devils have struggled defensively, conceding 20 or more shots in a Premier League game, 12 times since Ten Hag joined the club in 2022.

Read More: Fulham 2-1 Manchester United: Signs Emerging That Erik ten Hag Could Be Running Out of Time

This season, Ten Hag has seen his team encounter 16 or more shots in 14 separate instances, a number equalled only by Luton and Sheffield United, both currently in the relegation zone. An exodus could be planned for the summer, with reports claiming that the club are set to offload a number of players, including Raphael Varane, Anthony Martial, Antony, Casemiro, Mason Greenwood, and Marcus Rashford.

United can still achieve Champions League qualification, but his last chance for silverware this term lies in the FA Cup. Manchester United are set to face Nottingham Forest in the fifth round on Wednesday, aiming to avoid a repeat of their 2-1 loss at the City Ground in late December.

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