Exclusive: Meulensteen expects Man Utd to sack Ten Hag as he picks ‘two reasons’ to sell players

Joe Williams
Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag
Erik ten Hag is under immense pressure after the Red Devils' defeat to Crystal Palace.

Former Man Utd assistant manager Rene Meulensteen believes Erik ten Hag has run out of excuses and he expects the Dutchman to be sacked this summer.

United’s disastrous season hit rock bottom after Monday night’s horrible 4-0 defeat against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park, with Ten Hag’s side in danger of missing out on qualification for European competition next season.

The pattern of failure at Man Utd has followed a recurring narrative since Sir Alex Ferguson retired as the club’s manager in 2013, with his former assistant Meulensteen scathing in his verdict on fellow Dutchman Ten Hag as he spoke to Football365.

Meulensteen worked alongside Ferguson as a key member of his coaching staff between 2007 and 2013 and he suggests Ten Hag can have no complaints if he is replaced after two years at the helm.

“We are in a result business and the people who make decisions on what happens to Ten Hag have to decide how they think United are going to look in a year, then three years time and five years time,” Meulensteen told Football365 at a William Hill Vegas event.

“They need to look at the current trends with this manager and this coaching staff and it is not good, so it looks like a change will be coming.

“When you look at a manager’s work, you need to see a pattern of progress. Once that pattern becomes clear, you try and build on that after a season or a season and half.

“While a lot of teams are moving forward at this stage with a manager, United have regressed, there is no getting away from that.

“The whole trend of this season has been going backwards rather than forwards and there will be a decision over whether he stays or goes.

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“Clarity is the key for everyone involved now. The key here is United have three tough league games left and the doom scenario is they might not win any of them.

“So they will go into the FA Cup final on the back of four losses. Ten Hag is hoping players will come back, but they won’t have played for three or four weeks and that might not be good against Manchester City.”

Meulensteen then pointed an accusing finger at senior Man Utd stars, as he suggested the recurring negative themes of the last few years would never have been tolerated during Ferguson’s reign.

“There are so many things I see at Man United that are foreign to me,” the former Man Utd assistant added.

“Poor patterns of bad behaviour, no work ethic. That would never, ever be the case under Sir Alex Ferguson and that’s why there is a disconnect at the club from what it was to what it is now.

“You have a problem because you can get rid of the manager, but the new guy still has all those same players who have performed as they have this season.

“Listen, we are talking about Manchester United here. Not an under-14 team from Walsall. These are all good players and at the end of the day, it starts with good structure, good organisation and work ethic.

Meulensteen: Man Utd rely too much on individual brilliance

“In recent months, United have been relying on moments of individual brilliance from Bruno Fernandes or Alejandro Garnacho to get away it after a bad performance, but that is not sustainable in the long term.

“There are two reasons not to carry on with players. Either they are not good enough and don’t have the quality to play at that level or they don’t want to do it. Whatever one of those is true, you have a problem.

“The club now needs a clear indication of how the club will move forward and if that is with Ten Hag, they need to give him a vote of confidence.

“If it isn’t, they need to be clear in their decision, as we have seen this week with West Ham letting David Moyes go.”