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Tuesday, June 25, 2024

Ten Hag has ‘lost the plot’ in ‘CAR CRASH’ head coach role at United

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Chris Sutton has claimed that Erik ten Hag has ‘lost the plot’ as his second season at Manchester United has unravelled on Mail Sport’s It’s All Kicking Off podcast. The embattled manager is looking less and less likely to find himself in the Old Trafford dugout next season after his side slumped to another humiliating defeat against Crystal Palace on Monday night. Although the club are not thought to be mulling replacing the head coach before the side’s FA Cup final against Manchester City at the end of the season, a number of alternative candidates are believed to be under consideration for the role, including Thomas Tuchel and former Chelsea coach Graham Potter.   But both Sutton and his co-host – and Mail Sport Football Editor – Ian Ladyman stressed that change at the beleagured club might not come solely with a move for a new manager next season. The pundit even went as far as stating that the role itself was difficult to handle for most highly skilled managers, citing the turbulent years that followed the end of Sir Alex Ferguson’s heavily decorated reign.  Erik ten Hag’s role at Manchester United is looking increasingly under siege at the end of term The Dutchman’s side endured a 4-0 humbling at Selhurst Park against Palace on Monday Sir Jim Ratcliffe (right) is thought to be hunting for a replacement ahead of next season But Sutton and Ladyman first discussed Man United’s immediate task – attempting to halt Arsenal’s title tilt at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon.  The former Blackburn Rovers and Celtic man predicted Arsenal to ‘win comfortably’ against Ten Hag’s ‘massively depleted’ side, adding that it was hard to imagine how things could get much more depressing in Manchester. ‘The form is that bad,’ Sutton said. ‘And when you’re outplayed – Crystal Palace were basically showboating in the first half, Eze and Elise. When it gets like that, can it get any worse? ‘Fair play to the supporters for sticking with them. But blimey, how much longer can they stick with players who are playing at such a low level?’ In the wake of the loss at Selhurst Park, a number of ex-United voices including Paul Scholes called for Ten Hag’s assistant Steve McClaren to take the reins for the remainder of the season. But as Ladyman argued: ‘If he’s such a good coach, why has he not had any kind of impact on this shambles of the United team in the last eight or nine months? ‘I was thinking about something this week about Ten Hag and the thing that surprises me about Ten Hag is not that he’s struggled because he’s not the first manager to struggle at that football club,’ Ladyman continued. ‘But it surprises me that he’s not come across this season as a coach. And when he came from Ajax, that was his reputation. His reputation was one of a clever, bright, modern coach. But there’s been absolutely no sign of that this season.  Former Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho may have overstated his influence but would at the very least have a plan for how to cope against title-chasing Arsenal this weekend Ten Hag’s assistant Steve McClaren (left) has been floated as his interim replacement ‘For example, and I never ever want to hold Jose Mourinho up as an example, but I’m going to because as a modern coach, Mourinho is largely a busted flush in terms of the modern game.’And he certainly wasn’t as effective as he likes to pretend he was when he was at United. But if someone like Mourinho was in charge of this team for Sunday, you can imagine that he would have a plan, and you know what that plan would be. ‘(They would) walk out on that pitch on Sunday at Old Trafford and set up in such a way as to make it almost impossible for Arsenal to break United down and to try and get a 0 -0 and you never know, maybe even get a 1 -0 on the counter. You could see Mourinho doing that because that is what great coaches do. ‘I just can’t see Ten Hag doing that. He never seems to send the team out with any kind of real obvious pattern of how to play and that is what baffles me, and that’s why I don’t really give them much of an opportunity on Sunday. ‘Because I’ll just go out and do what they normally do which is a mishmash of everything which which essentially adds up to nothing.’Sutton agreed, adding that it was impossible to gauge whether United had made positive changes since the Dutchman’s first season. ‘I went fairly early on Ten Hag and I think you disagreed and I understood why you disagreed,’ Sutton said. ‘But it was about making progress. ‘And they had a good season last season about making progress. More pertinently, it was about them controlling games because I didn’t see that they had any control in games. Ten Hag has struggled to replicate his over-achieving first season in charge at Old Trafford Outgoing Bayern Munich coach Thomas Tuchel is thought to be keen to take up the challenge’The whole season that has been a problem. It’s not getting any better. And because of that, you could argue it’s got worse. Because of that, that’s why Erik ten Hag will go. But I think the point you make about him and his coaching is a very valid one at this moment in time. He seems to have lost the plot. ‘You see a lot of comments talking about them being one of the most dynamic and entertaining teams in the Premier League. I just think he’s losing it and needs to be put out of his misery as soon as possible really. But it will happen at the end of the season.’Ladyman however didn’t have the most optimistic vision of the future at Carrington – particularly in light of the emergence of outgoing Bayern Munich head coach Tuchel’s candidacy.  ‘Listening and reading some of the stories about Jim Ratcliffe at Manchester United this week, and emails to staff about the state of the dressing rooms, emails to staff about ending the working from home culture that’s developed at Manchester United as a football club,’ Ladyman began. ‘(He) strikes me as a micro manager already, strikes me as a meddler and you wonder whether, I know it’s early to say this, you wonder how that would go down with a certain type of coach.’Someone like (Thomas) Tuchel for example is someone who essentially was binned off from Chelsea because he couldn’t see eye to eye with the new American owners there. If Radcliffe’s gonna kind of manage that club in such a hands-on, overbearing way, it’s gonna take a certain type of manager to work in that environment.’While Sutton argued that his co-host was perhaps going a little too early in his judgement of the INEOS billionare, he did ponder the aims of the takeover based on their successful running of the INEOS Grenadiers cycling team.   No Manchester United manager since Sir Alex Ferguson has been able to match his success’What they’re trying to do, (why) Dave Brailsford going in is small margins, small gains and trying to find them,’ he added. ‘I think we all feel it’s not going to be about small gains for Manchester United in the next coming season. It’s about making giant strides. And I don’t know whether that is that is possible. ‘I think what have we learned since Sir Alex Ferguson stepped down is United have regressed. We can look at Ten Hag, but you can go back through all the managers who have been in charge. You mentioned Mourinho, (Louis) Van Gaal and they haven’t been able to find a way. ‘It’s a car crash of a job to be handed. But it is a big club. They have to find the way back. And I think it’s going to be a slow process, a laborious process. And once again, you know, the word patience is going to be required.’

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