Ten Hag ‘saviour’ revealed as Saha tells Man Utd that Zidane signing would be ‘massive achievement’

Joe Williams
Man Utd manager target Zinedine Zidane
Zinedine Zidane has been linked with the Man Utd job.

Former Man Utd striker Louis Saha reckons it would be a “massive achievement” for the Red Devils to land Zinedine Zidane as their new manager.

Even victories are now building the pressure on Erik ten Hag with the Red Devils managing to throw away a three-goal lead against Coventry City on Sunday before eventually beating the Championship side on penalties in their FA Cup semi-final.

Erik ten Hag’s job is reportedly coming under threat

It was seen as an embarrassing performance by Man Utd and only piled more pressure on Ten Hag, whose side have only won one of their last seven Premier League fixtures.

Man Utd also crashed out of Europe before Christmas by finishing bottom of their Champions League group and Ten Hag has now lost a lot of the good faith he built up during his first season at Old Trafford.

But Saha reckons Ten Hag could still save his job this season if he manages to beat arch-rivals Man City in the FA Cup final and win his second piece of silverware since joining from Ajax in 2022.

Saha told Betfred: “It will be difficult for him if he doesn’t win the FA Cup. People are asking for the team to step up and there’s been no signs of improvement. Yes, they’ve had a lot of injuries this season, especially in regards to the back four, and there’s been issues with certain players, but a lot of question marks have been raised.

READ MORE: Three alternative Man Utd manager candidates better than Southgate and co.

“After the win against Coventry, Ten Hag claimed that getting to the final was a ‘huge achievement’, but it isn’t for Manchester United. It’s great that they’ve got to two finals in a row, but 15 to 20 years ago, they were competing and winning the Champions League and winning the Premier League title consistently. For that reason, I don’t believe it’s a massive achievement.

“In their last few games of this season, they need to show a better rhythm and body language. We’ve only seen that from them in certain games this season and we need to see this again from this team, otherwise it’s going to be a difficult few months for Erik ten Hag, especially if they don’t win the FA Cup.

“As Gary Neville’s said, if he wins the FA Cup with Manchester United, then it’s going to be harder for the board to sack him, especially if they beat Manchester City in the final. It could be a saviour for Erik ten Hag.”

Zinedine Zidane or Thomas Tuchel to replace Erik ten Hag?

Former Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane has been mooted as a potential unlikely replacement for Ten Hag and Saha reckons there would be “no negatives” in appointing the Frenchman.

Saha added: “For a few years I’ve said that Zidane would be a fantastic appointment for the club. There’s no negatives about it. We all know that his dream job is with the French national team, but we don’t know if he may have to wait a while for that position to become available.

“He can speak a bit of English, so that would be helpful. I don’t see anything that goes against him being Manchester United manager. He would definitely inspire the players to be more confident at the highest level and everybody admires him for what he’s done as a player and as a manager, so that’s certainly an advantage he’s got. It would be a massive achievement for Manchester United to have Zinedine Zidane as their manager.”

Reports earlier this week claimed that Man Utd co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe had made contact with Bayern Munich boss Thomas Tuchel and Saha has reacted to the news.

Saha continued: “It’s a tough one because in his most recent jobs, he’s not been at each club for more than two years.

“There was an element of surprise when he took the job at PSG and that’s a very difficult club to manage due to the politics surrounding it and other factors and this season he’s been unable to win the Bundesliga with Bayern Munich, but ultimately he’s a good manager.

“Managing Manchester United is one hell of a job and I’d prefer to not speculate on potential incoming managers because Erik ten Hag is still at the club and I respect him. The players are as responsible as the manager for some of Manchester United’s performances this season.

“At the moment, we’re just seeing names in papers and we can’t really speculate on anything whilst Erik is still at the club.”