Neville sends clear message to Man Utd owners over Ten Hag sack after ‘unacceptably poor season’

Joe Williams
Man Utd legend Gary Neville
Gary Neville during his role as a Sky Sports pundit.

Gary Neville thinks Man Utd should keep Erik ten Hag on next season as there is “no outstanding candidate” to replace the Dutchman.

There have been rumours over the last few months that Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS could decide to replace Ten Hag after the British billionaire completed a deal to buy 27.7 per cent of the Premier League club earlier this year.

Man Utd finished eighth in the Premier League this season and were knocked out of Europe before Christmas by finishing bottom of their Champions League group.

That piled pressure on Ten Hag with former players and pundits questioning whether he had a clear playing style – but their win over Man City in the FA Cup final on Saturday might have saved the Dutchman his job.

A report since has claimed that Ten Hag has increasing support from some of the Man Utd hierarchy and they could make a decision over his future this week.

And Man Utd legend Neville reckons Ten Hag has “earned the right to go on” despite “an unacceptably poor Premier League season”.

“I couldn’t face going to Wembley on Saturday,” Neville said on The Overlap. “That’s how little confidence I had in United’s ability to stop City doing the double again!

“And yet it turned out to be a beautiful day. And a great performance after a horrible season that might just change everything for Erik ten Hag…

“There’s no doubt Ten Hag’s FA Cup win has put Manchester United in an awkward position. This has been an unacceptably poor Premier League season for the club.

“Of course, Ten Hag will argue that he hasn’t had anything like a consistent enough squad to pick from, especially his back four. But even so, the lack of control in many games has been alarming.

“And yet he has two cups in two years. He has proven he can win trophies with this side. He has matched Jose Mourinho as the most successful United manager since Sir Alex Ferguson.

👉 Ten Hag sack? There are 10 reasons why Man Utd will and should keep him…
👉 Five Manchester United summer moves thwarted by Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s ‘five strict rules’
👉 Jason Wilcox is one of English football’s most powerful figures, in accordance with the prophecy

“I think he’s earned the right to go on. It’s not exactly a ringing endorsement but the first consideration when removing a manager is you have the right and better replacement.

“Simply there is no outstanding candidate to replace him that would make an immediate and massive upgrade.

“If you have the opportunity to appoint someone like Jurgen Klopp, as Liverpool did in 2015, or Pep Guardiola, as City did in 2016, then it makes sense to change.

“But there’s no-one out here who will suddenly take this United squad on to another level. They might do somewhat better but even with Guardiola in charge, this United team wouldn’t win the Premier League.”

READ NEXT: Ryan Giggs scrap, Fergie projectile among seven obscure tales from Man Utd Treble triumph