Man Utd: Wilcox ‘influencing’ tactics under Ten Hag after the Dutchman ‘killed the team’

Joe Williams
Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag
Erik ten Hag claps the supporters after a match.

Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag is having his tactics “influenced” by technical director Jason Wilcox, according to one journalist.

The Red Devils had a promising first campaign under Ten Hag with the Dutchman guiding his side to an FA Cup final, League Cup silverware and a top-four finish in the Premier League.

However, things have not gone to plan this time around with Man Utd currently eighth in the Premier League with just a game to go, while they were knocked out of Europe before Christmas.

They do have one last shot at success in the FA Cup later this month when they face arch-rivals Man City in the final but Ten Hag will still be facing immense pressure.

His side’s performances and results have been disappointing for most of the season with Man Utd legend Rio Ferdinand describing the Dutchman’s style as “kamikaze chaos football”.

Ferdinand said in April: “The manager came out before and was saying ‘if anyone can’t see the style of play then I don’t know what you’re looking at’ and basically ‘we have got a style of play’.

“For the life of me, I give him the benefit of the doubt every time and am looking at him thinking every time ‘what is it’? I said after the game if kamikaze, open sesame, no control of the game football is what we’re looking for, he has it nailed on and is doing a great job at it because that’s what we’re playing.

“You can put that down to injuries, we have a load of injuries but a lot of teams have injuries and they still play a style of football they are trying to achieve. I don’t think Ten Hag’s style is this kamikaze chaos football.”

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Their 3-2 victory over Newcastle during the week was improved from recent performances and journalist Rob Blanchette thinks Ten Hag could save his job because of Wilcox’s influence.

Blanchette wrote on X: “Erik ten Hag might well have saved his job vs Newcastle, not with the 3-2 result, but with the tactical display and performance. He’s stubbornly stuck with 4-1-4-1 this season & it’s killed the team.

“The new technical director, Jason Wilcox, has clearly had an influence on the formation, shape, tactics and game plan. A False 9, going man-for-man 4v4 up top with two midfielders creating a block with the defence. We really should have seen this months ago when the fires were burning & teams were walking through our chaotic system.

“If Erik can prove to INEOS he can take their instructions on the style of play, as Sir Jim Ratcliffe has spoken about, then he could be retained. His competition for the job isn’t deep. As I said recently, he isn’t a bad coach. However he’s made repeated mistakes this term.

“The players appeared more ‘at home’ with the compact system vs Newcastle, and we must never go back to basketball tactics ever again. It’s a hiding to nothing and Erik should have recognised that at Christmas. If Erik stays, he’ll have my support.”

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