Jason Wilcox tasked with Ten Hag audit as Man Utd fear players ‘ignoring instructions’

Will Ford
Wilcox Ten Hag Man Utd
Jason Wilcox will decide Erik ten Hag's future at Man Utd.

Erik ten Hag’s future at Manchester United is in the hands of the club’s new technical director Jason Wilcox, who will conduct ‘an audit of the manager’s credentials and dressing room relations’ over the next month.

United’s humiliating victory over Coventry in the FA Cup semi-final on Sunday raised further doubts over Ten Hag’s suitability for the job at Old Trafford with the Dutchman under pressure throughout a difficult second season at the club.

Squad relations and philosophy under the microscope

Wilcox – who was formally appointed as the club’s new technical director on Friday having left Southampton – was in attendance to watch the capitulation at Wembley, and Telegraph claim he’s first duty will be to ‘provide a detailed assessment of Ten Hag’s strengths and weaknesses’.

The audit will include an appraisal of his ‘relationship with the squad’ and ‘whether his approach can fit with the overarching style of play and philosophy they intend to pursue’.

Reports thus far have claimed that co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe ideally wants Ten Hag to stay at the club, particularly given ‘there is no stand-out candidate’ to replace him, but Telegraph claim ‘there is an acceptance the situation could become unsustainable should United miss out on Europe entirely’.

Nothing off limits for Wilcox

Wilcox is set to look closely at Ten Hag’s traning sessions and will also ‘hold extensive talks with the manager, staff and players during his analysis’.

The report continues:

‘Part of his remit will be to establish if there has been a breakdown in Ten Hag’s relationship with the dressing room. Several players, including Jadon Sancho, Marcus Rashford and most recently Alejandro Garnacho, have fallen foul of the Dutchman this term.

‘Wilcox will also be asked to assess whether United’s struggles this season have predominantly been down to a dreadful run of injuries and personnel factors – or whether there are deeper issues, such as players ignoring instructions and/or inflexibility and intransigence on the manager’s part.

‘If it is the latter, United would want to know whether Ten Hag was simply too inflexible or could be open to and capable of implementing and communicating any changes required to his approach.’

Wilcox will be the man to ‘determine and drive the move to a clear “game model” – effectively a cohesive playing style and identity United intend to replicate across all age groups.’

READ MORE: Five reasons Man Utd fans should be happy with Jason Wilcox as technical director