Man Utd: Wilcox tells Ten Hag that a change ‘will be made’ unless he alters one thing

Joe Williams
Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag
Erik ten Hag is at risk of being sacked by Manchester United.

New Man Utd technical director Jason Wilcox has told Erik ten Hag to change to a possession-based style of football, according to reports.

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

Ten Hag has been told to change his style of play

However, the latest campaign has not gone to plan with Man Utd knocked out of Europe before Christmas and currently in seventh position in the Premier League.

Even their win over Coventry City on penalties in their FA Cup semi-final on Sunday was labelled embarrassing by many as the pressure builds on Ten Hag.

There performances have come under particular scrutiny with supporters struggling to see the style of play that Ten Hag is attempting to implement at Man Utd.

Rio Ferdinand has been particularly confused this term with the Man Utd legend describing Ten Hag’s style of play as “kamikaze chaos football”.

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

Speaking earlier this month, Ferdinand told his Vibe with FIVE YouTube channel: “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.”

Ferdinand added: “That type of football leads to seeing players at their worst at times, for instance Casemiro for all he has won and the great player he has been he will look a worse player when the tactics are the way they are.

“Open transition football with big spaces around him, in that midfield at times another midfielder is 20 yards away. That never happened at Real Madrid so you don’t see his worst traits which is his mobility, same with Kobbie Mainoo, so you do things with a structure so you don’t see that.

“We are doing things where you are going to see exactly their worst trait so it makes them look worse at times.”

And now The Sun journalist Alan Nixon (via TBR Football) has claimed that new technical director Wilcox – who was appointed last week from Southampton – has told Ten Hag ‘to play a possession style of football from now on, starting from now in this evening’s game against Sheffield United’.

The report adds that the Dutchman is ‘effectively on trial until the end of the season, and if no change is seen, a switch in the dugout will be made’.