Ex-Man Utd coach tells INEOS why they must sack Ten Hag as owners ‘cannot be swayed’

Joe Williams
Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag
Erik ten Hag is under pressure over his side's performances this season.

Former Man Utd first-team coach Mike Phelan reckons Erik ten Hag would’ve been sacked by now under previous regimes at Old Trafford.

A poor second season has seen speculation about the Dutchman’s future intensify, peaking on the eve of the final as it was reported he would be sacked regardless of the result at Wembley.

Few predicted anything other than Man City completing another domestic double by beating the Red Devils in the FA Cup final last weekend but Man Utd had other ideas.

Teenage stars Alejandro Garnacho and Kobbie Mainoo put the underdogs in dreamland, with the Red Devils digging deep after Jeremy Doku’s late strike to seal a 2-1 win and second trophy in as many years.

But whether FA Cup glory is enough for ambitious INEOS to keep on under-fire Ten Hag remains to be seen and Phelan thinks the Man Utd boss has been lucky.

Phelan said: “Past regimes I would have said he would have been gone. Yes the ownership is still there but I think this new regime is looking for continuity. I think that’s a different attitude, whether that gives Ten Hag the opportunity to go again, I’m not sure.”

When asked whether Ten Hag has earned enough credit to carry on at Man Utd next season, Phelan added: “No, I don’t. That is just the way I see it. We are talking about Manchester United here. It’s a big decision. An important decision.

“(Ten Hag) has been forthright and honest. He obviously sees things internally, he’s got a group of players where he is going to get some out and get some in. He’s confident he is going to take it to another level and that’s great.”

Phelan added: “He won the FA Cup out of the blue I think nobody expected it, playing in a style he should have thought about a little bit earlier in the season. This season you can’t say anything other than it’s been very disappointing.

“Not just the performances look at the stats, the stats tell you everything, goals conceded, goals scored even, it’s been unusual.

“It has taken a lot longer than to release Louis van Gaal after the cup final. Who do (INEOS) they want? Are they available? Sometimes, it’s easier to get people out than to get people in. You need a manager, with full backing.”

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Former Crystal Palace chairman Simon Jordan insists that if Man Utd co-owners Sir Jim Ratcliffe and the Glazers made their mind up over Ten Hag before the FA Cup final, it’s unlikely that they will “be swayed by a piece of silverware”.

Jordan said: “Manchester United papered over the cracks with their FA Cup win against Manchester City.

“The players were possibly primarily motivated by potentially playing for their futures rather than for Erik ten Hag.

“One swallow does not make a summer and, if Jim Ratcliffe and the Glazers had made their mind up over sacking the Dutchman before Wembley, they cannot be swayed by a piece of silverware.”