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Peter Schmeichel explains why he feels ‘really, really sorry’ for one Man United man

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The Ineos honeymoon period at Manchester United might be winding down, now it is time to get business done.

While there are certainly plenty of mitigating factors – the Red Devils must sell before they can buy – the more impatient members of the Manchester United fanbase a little concerned.

The whole Erik ten Hag saga, meanwhile, arguably raised more questions than answers.

Some will argue that Ineos were not only right to go about things the way they did, but that it was their duty to do so. Man United, lest we forget, finished a worst-ever eighth in the Premier League last season.

The team ended up with a goal difference of minus one, sacrificed their reign over the EFL Cup with a whimper, while exiting the Champions League in the group-stages.

Furthermore, Ten Hag was appointed long before Ineos finally struck a deal with the Glazers. It only made sense that a new group of decision makers wanted to consider all of their options, talks reportedly held with the likes of Roberto de Zerbi, Roberto Martinez, Marco Silva and Mauricio Pochettino.

  • READ MORE: Manchester United manager history, trophies won, win percentage

Erik ten Hag, Manager of Manchester United, looks on prior to the Premier League match between Wolverhampton Wanderers and Manchester United at Mol...

Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images

Erik ten Hag is staying at Manchester United for now

Still, legendary former goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel cannot shake a sense of unease about the manner in which Ten Hag was left waiting for an answer about his Old Trafford future. A situation played out very publicly, and one which did little to suggest that the Dutchman has the total trust of Sir Jim Ratcliffe and co.

“I am not surprised as such (that Ten Hag is staying). I am surprised about the time it took to come to that conclusion,” Schmeichel tells talkSPORT (20 June, 11.20am).

“I feel a bit sorry for Erik, that he had to go through all that just having won the FA Cup. He had to wait three weeks where he knew they were speaking to other people. I didn’t feel that was right.

“But it’s how they have chosen to do it. He stays. There is obviously a project there, he has been very, very clear that he wants to continue that project. He thinks it’s in the right direction, probably been hampered by injuries so it’s stopped a little in it’s tracks.

“I just feel that wasn’t the right way to do it.”

Ten Hag’s current contract expires in 2025. There is an expectation that the manager who became the first post-Sir Alex Ferguson to win trophies in successive seasons at United will be offered a new deal, in order to provide some semblance of security.

Ten Hag, however, insists that it is not quite as simple as merely signing on the nearest dotted line.

United must improve in the Ineos era

There remains a school of thought that Ineos and Ten Hag remain a marriage of convenience, Ineos flirting with Thomas Tuchel and more before settling on the man currently in the dugout. Was that due to a lack of viable alternatives?

Or is Ten Hag really the man Ineos feel can take United forward not just next season but for the forseeable future?

“If I am a player in the squad, I would feel that my manager has been undermined and will I have the same respect for him? Will I think he is secure in his job? That is the question (that will arise) when the guy they really want is available,” Schmeichel wonders.

“I don’t think that Manchester United, in this particular time, need all this uncertainty. I have got to be honest, I feel really, really sorry for him.”

  • READ MORE: Who are INEOS? Exploring Man Utd co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s billion-pound business

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