Man Utd: Merson believes Ten Hag ‘should get knighted’ if Red Devils ‘miracle’ happens

Jason Soutar
Man Utd manager Erik ten Hag should be knighted if the Red Devils beat Man City in the FA Cup final, says Paul Merson
Erik ten Hag should be knighted if Man Utd win the FA Cup, says Paul Merson

Paul Merson believes it would be a “miracle” if Manchester United beat Manchester City in the FA Cup final, and if they do manage it, Erik ten Hag “should get knighted”.

Manchester United are ending the season extremely poorly. They have only won one of their last eight Premier League matches, leaving a sixth-place finish as the best-case scenario.

Arsenal comfortably beat them on Sunday but their performance was an improvement on last Monday’s 4-0 defeat at Crystal Palace.

Red Devils manager Ten Hag is understandably under a huge amount of pressure, especially with new owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe heavily scrutinising every move he makes between now and the end of the campaign.

There is the possibility that winning the FA Cup final against rivals Man City could save Ten Hag, but that was not the case for Louis van Gaal in 2016 when he won the competition and lost his job.

Winning the FA Cup should not just buy the Dutchman more time, according to Merson, who reckons the feat would be so impressive that “he should get knighted” if it happens.

“I mean, if they beat Man City in the FA Cup final, looking at the last few results, looking at Palace, he should get knighted,” Merson said on Sky Sports.

“He should get knighted. I’m not exaggerating. He should get knighted, because it would be a miracle. It would be a miracle if they beat Man City.”

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Merson added that he is baffled by United’s current situation, especially as “the biggest club in the world”.

“I didn’t think in my lifetime that I’d see this,” he continued.

“I mean, eighth in the league…this is still like sitting here today, in my opinion, the biggest club in the world. You know, still one of the biggest clubs in the world.”

While Man Utd end the season in the worst way possible, their opponents for the showcase final at Wembley are ending it ridiculously strongly.

Pep Guardiola’s City could have won the title at Tottenham on Tuesday had Ten Hag’s side done them a favour and got something against Arsenal, but the 1-0 win for the Gunners means the title race will be decided on the last day of the season this Sunday.

As they usually are, Man City have been relentless in the run-in and have not lost in the Premier League since December 6, winning their last seven matches in the top flight.

Their two remaining fixtures are away to Arsenal’s arch-rivals Spurs and at home to West Ham on Sunday, which will be David Moyes’ final match in charge of the Hammers.

More: Man Utd | Man City | Ten Hag sack?