Man Utd stars note ‘change in demeanour’ of Ten Hag who has ‘resigned himself to the sack’

Joe Williams
Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag
Erik ten Hag looks unhappy as he watches his side play.

Man Utd players have picked up on a change in Erik ten Hag and believe he has resigned himself to being sacked, according to reports.

The Red Devils enjoyed a positive first season under Ten Hag with the Dutchman guiding them to an FA Cup final, glory in the Carabao Cup and a top-four finish in the Premier League.

However, things have not gone to plan this term with Man Utd out of Europe after finishing bottom of their Champions League group, while their inconsistent form in the Premier League means they are sixth and 11 points off fourth-placed Tottenham.

And Ten Hag has come under intense pressure over poor results and performances with Rio Ferdinand questioning his “kamikaze chaos football”.

Widespread reliable reports have always maintained that new co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS will give him until the end of the season before deciding his future.

But The Sun now claims that Man Utd players now ‘fear’ that Ten Hag ‘has now resigned himself to the sack at the end of the season’ following a number of poor displays.

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The report adds that some players have ‘noticed a change in the demeanour’ of the Man Utd boss ‘in recent weeks’ after Ratcliffe ‘refused to deliver a public vote of confidence.’

Former Swansea City and Chelsea boss Graham Potter ‘is in line to take over after meeting with’ Ratcliffe with the Englishman snubbing a move to Ajax last week.

Journalist Neil Jones insists he would be “amazed” if Man Utd aren’t looking “at their next managerial target” ahead of next season.

Jones wrote in his Caught Offside column: “Manchester United under Erik ten Hag, I’m not entirely sure what they are or what they are trying to be.

“He says they aim to be “dominant” with and without the ball, but they are neither, as far as I can see. They have some talented individuals who can produce moments of magic – Garnacho, Rashford, Mainoo, Fernandes, Antony – but as a team, I just don’t see the same levels of structure, organisation and desire as at, say, Liverpool or Arsenal or City. Even Tottenham.

“Their pressing structure, in particular, is appalling at times. How easy is it to play through the lines and get at United’s back four? They cough up chances – good chances – at an alarming rate for a so-called top side, and it happens week after week, home and away, whether against the good sides or the average ones.

“Two years in, a lot of the blame for that has to fall at Ten Hag’s feet. Either his message isn’t clear, isn’t getting through or he hasn’t got the players to make it work. And if it’s the latter, then questions must be asked as to some of those he has brought in. Their better players at the moment are either academy products – Mainoo & Garnacho – or those who he has previously discarded – Maguire & Wan Bissaka.

“It feels to me like the FA Cup might save Ten Hag this season, but I’d be amazed if United aren’t at least starting to look at their next managerial target, because right now they look miles off the likes of Liverpool, Arsenal and City. “