Man Utd boss Ten Hag takes brutal swipe at England boss Southgate after Serbia win

Joe Williams
Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag on England
Erik ten Hag during the FA Cup final.

Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag aimed a dig at England manager Gareth Southgate after the Three Lions’ 1-0 victory over Serbia on Sunday night.

Southgate’s side looked in control in the first half as they took a comfortable 1-0 lead into the break in Gelsenkirchen after Jude Bellingham had put them ahead with a header.

However, England surrendered control for much of the second half in their Group C opener against Serbia with Dragan Stojkovic’s side testing the Three Lions’ mettle.

England eventually held on for the three points and could’ve extended their lead too if Harry Kane had converted a brilliant Jarrod Bowen cross late on.

Man Utd boss Ten Hag was working for NOS in the Netherlands for the England match and criticised Southgate – who was linked with replacing him at Old Trafford – after their opening match win.

“It’s the vision of the manager [Southgate],” Ten Hag said.

“England will take a 1-0 lead, then he [Southgate] decides to start gambling with making his team compact and relying on moments for the remaining minutes of the game.”

Luke Shaw has had an injury-plagued season for Man Utd with the left-back making Southgate’s England squad due to the paucity of good players in his position.

Ten Hag revealed on Shaw: “Luke Shaw will start playing once England get out of the group stages.”

The Man Utd boss kept his job after winning the FA Cup at the end of a disappointing Premier League season, which saw the club finish eighth.

On INEOS’ decision to keep him on, Ten Hag added: “It was a turbulent season. I was able to take a bit of a holiday. This week, United suddenly showed up on my doorstep. That they would like to continue with me.

“In any organisation it is wise that you evaluate and that you draw your conclusions from that. Manchester United has that The new leadership then decided on this.”

It was widely reported that Man Utd held talks with a number of potential candidates before making the decision to stick with Ten Hag next season.

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When asked about Man Utd holding talks with other managers, Ten Hag continued: “Everyone has heard that they have spoken to several candidates. In the Netherlands, something like that is not possible and it is not even allowed.

“You are not allowed to just talk to another club. as long as there is a current head coach. In England it is different. Manchester United have told me that they spoke with Tuchel, but they eventually came to the conclusion that they already have the best manager.”

Asked whether there was an update on his contract situation, Ten Hag replied: “We have spoken well and various topics have been on the table.

“The conclusion is that we are going to sit down to extend the contract. We still have to reach an agreement, because that has not been done easily. Let’s talk about it some more.”