Man Utd owner Ratcliffe urged to sack Ten Hag as FA Cup win v Man City hints at ‘longevity’ problem

Jason Soutar
Man Utd: Jermaine Jenas has his say on Erik ten Hag's future
Jermaine Jenas has his say on Erik ten Hag's future at Man Utd

Jermaine Jenas does not think Manchester United fans will accept Erik ten Hag’s counter-attacking style that won the FA Cup final against Manchester City week in, week out in the Premier League.

Ten Hag is under severe pressure at Old Trafford, with England manager Gareth Southgate reportedly being lined up by Sir Jim Ratcliffe as his replacement.

Thomas Tuchel is also believed to be on Ratcliffe’s shortlist following his departure from Bayern Munich.

There were reports that Ten Hag would be sacked after the FA Cup final but after an outstanding performance against the best team in the country, Manchester United co-owner Ratcliffe has not relieved the Dutchman of his duties…yet.

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It would be harsh to sack Ten Hag after such a promising showing at Wembley, but the results in the Premier League in 2023/24 were wildly inconsistent.

With that in mind, former Tottenham midfielder Jenas believes he should be sacked by Ratcliffe, with fans hoping to see “attacking, exciting football”, rather than the counter-attacking style that inspired a victory over rivals Man City.

“Well, the fans and everybody’s mindsets are, ‘Are Manchester United into a little bit of pickle having put in one of their best performances of the year to get that win?’ he told talkSPORT.

“I still think that they should look elsewhere personally, because I think you base a manager’s performance over the longevity of a season.

“When I look at Manchester United right now…bearing in mind that performance was a very specific and bespoke-designed performance for one game.

“So it was very much like, ‘Manchester City are going to have a lot of the ball, we can sit in and play counter-attacking football,’ Manchester United fans are not going to accept that week in, week out at Old Trafford.

“They want to be on the ball, they want to be dominating games, they want to be playing attacking, exciting football, right?

“So, I have not seen personally… what’s he been there [for], two years? I don’t think I’ve seen many performances that I can sit here and go, ‘That’s an Erik ten Hag performance.’ I still to this day don’t know what he does!”

Asked by talkSPORT host Andy Goldstein if it takes time for players to get used to a manager and their tactics, Jenas responded: “I don’t think it takes two years.

“I think six months is enough time to kind of look at a team and go, ‘OK, you might not be winning games, but I totally understand the direction that this team is now moving in, and even during that period of time I’m prepared to accept the losses because you’re trying this and you’re trying that.’

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“I think watching Erik ten Hag, and we have to factor in that also, from an injury perspective he’s had a bit of a nightmare, granted.

“Luke Shaw, [Tyrell] Malacia, he’s had no left side for god knows how long. I’m just not convinced myself.

“I get why Manchester United fans should feel hugely appreciative of the trophies that he has delivered over the last couple of years because, being obviously at Spurs, you realise those things don’t happen very often and fans would love one of the two.

“But if I’m looking like two, three, five years ahead for Manchester United fans, I just don’t think he’s the man that is going to get them back into that dominant place they need to be.”

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