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If United want to get season back on track, sack Ten Hag

Danny Murphy

THE fact Bournemouth won at Old Trafford and no one is surprised tells you everything you need to know about Manchester United under Erik ten Hag. If United want to dine at English football’s top table again, Ten Hag is not the manager to take them there.

United just cannot compete with City and Liverpool and Arsenal with the players they have under Ten Hag. I don’t see a team that’s progressing after a good first season. I see one that’s regressing and I don’t see how that will change with Ten Hag in charge.

It’s not all Ten Hag’s fault, of course. Many of the problems at United lie above and beyond him. Some of the players also need to look themselves in the mirror.

However, Ten Hag has been hugely influential in recruitment at United and none of the signings can yet be deemed a success.

Some of the players seem to lack motivation too, which is on him, and he needs to be tactically better.

Every time I see United play, they’re cut wide open and are too easy to play against. Whenever they face a half-decent side, they lose. They lost at Tottenham. They lost at Arsenal. They lost against Brighton. They got spanked by Bayern Munich. Crystal Palace beat them at Old Trafford. So did Galatasaray. Manchester City went there and destroyed them.

Recent wins — and manager of the month awards — have masked clear problems. They needed a last-minute goal to beat Fulham. They beat Luton by one goal at Old Trafford. They won by one at Sheffield United. They needed two stoppage time goals to beat Brentford.

The victory over Chelsea in midweek papered over the cracks. Chelsea cut through them countless times.

Bournemouth scored three and it could have been four. This result was only confirmation that United are in trouble. United don’t want to be in a position where they go to Anfield and lose by five. They lost by seven there back in March. A similar capitulation and there could be a change.

I’ve always thought United would give Ten Hag until the end of the season but if they want to get to where they want to be, a change probably needs to happen now and let a new manager work out what he needs to do.

It’s a shame because Ten Hag is a likeable guy but you get the sense the United job came a bit too early for him. At Ajax, he never had to manage superstars. He never had to deal with the constant magnifying glass of being at one of the biggest clubs in the world. He’s learning on the job and it’s not working. Unless the manager changes, neither will the style.

It’s time for a change but only if they have a plan in place. There is no point sacking Ten Hag (left) now unless United know what they want to do next. But it’s clear this manager isn’t the right man for United. If Bournemouth won 3-0 at City, you’d think ‘Oh my God!’. You’d do the same if they went to Arsenal and won by three. When they go to United and do it, you just shrug your shoulders. That says it all.

Premier League




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