• Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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BusinessDay

Seven arguments for sacking Man United’s Ten Hag

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In his debut season at Manchester United, Erik ten Hag enjoyed success, securing a third-placed finish and clinching the Carabao Cup, along with reaching an FA Cup final.

However, this season the former Ajax manager has been a stark contrast, with United facing disappointment and underperformance.

Despite a promising start, the Red Devil are currently in sixth place, with 49 points from 31 Premier League matches.

The team is poised to miss out on Champions League qualification, having accumulated a record number of league defeats.

These poor stats have put Ten Hag under pressure with speculations about his future at Old Trafford.

Here, BusinessDay takes a look at seven talking points why Man United should sack ten Hag

Lack of Defined Playing Style

Manchester United’s recent draw against Liverpool can be solely be attributed to Erik Ten Hag playing style. Despite two impressive goals, one coming as their first shot in the 50th minute, and Liverpool’s inefficiency, United’s identity crisis persists. They remain a team reliant on moments rather than cohesive play, a criticism echoed from Solskjaer’s tenure. This is particularly concerning given Ten Hag’s background at a club known for its consistent playing identity.

Absence of Consistency

Throughout the season, there hasn’t been a single match where United showcased a 90-minute performance in line with the manager’s vision. While they have shown glimpses of brilliance, such as dominating Chelsea at home, most victories have come with reservations. United’s tendency to rely on late winners, with four coming in added time and three in the 80-something minute, underscores their inconsistency.

Struggles in Defense

United’s defensive woes are evident, with 12 league defeats matching their worst record in the Premier League era. The team’s defensive frailties, coupled with an alarming number of late goals conceded, highlight systemic issues that remain unresolved.

Handling of Injuries

The team’s injury record under Ten Hag is concerning, with numerous players sidelined throughout the season.

McTominay’s absence against Liverpool marked the 56th recorded instance of injury or illness preventing the Man United player from participating this season.

The abrupt departures of Raphael Varane and Jonny Evans during the Chelsea match last week were likened by Ten Hag to the loss of seasoned players.

Varane, Evans, Lisandro Martinez, and Luke Shave have all aggravated injuries after rushed returns in the past two months.

While injuries have affected other top clubs, they have managed them better. Liverpool won a League Cup final with a depleted squad and were leading the Premier League until faltering at Old Trafford. Meanwhile, Manchester City remains on course for another treble.

Man United’s situation is worrisome, as ten Hag has fielded 26 different defensive combinations this season. This statistic reflects more than just bad luck.

There’s a pressing need to revamp the medical department, with players privately attributing injuries to Ten Hag’s intense training methods, despite his claims that they don’t train excessively.

Questionable Recruitment

Despite significant investment, Man United’s recruitment under Ten Hag has been subpar. Many signings have failed to live up to expectations, with injuries further complicating matters.

Despite spending over £400 million under Ten Hag’s management, United’s investments have not yielded desirable results. Players like Christian Eriksen and Casemiro have turned out to be short-term successes, while Antony has struggled to find form for almost a year. Mason Mount has been absent from league starts for five months, Onana has conceded cheap goals and Hojlund has not proven to Red Devil fans that he is an established goal scorer.

The reliance on loanees and the failure to secure proven goalscorers reflect poorly on the club’s recruitment strategy. Man United have also signed more loanees under Ten Hag than they had in the previous 20 years.

Failure To Qualify For Champions League

United’s failure to secure a top-four finish is inexcusable given their spending and the quality of the squad. This regression reflects poorly on Ten Hag’s management and raises doubts about his ability to lead the team forward.

The Need For Change

United cannot afford to continue underperforming. The precedent set by clubs like Bayern Munich, who have successfully navigated managerial changes, suggests that change may be necessary for United to regain their competitive edge.