Manchester United manager Erik Ten Hag is under tight scrutiny at Old Trafford. He may not even be there by the end of the year. So, what's stopping United from sacking the Dutch boss — let's look at the costs and implications.
According to The Mirror, sacking ten Hag would cost Man United $18 million — that's about the salary Pep Guardiola earns per year at City. Pep and City pummelled the Red Devils 3-nil last weekend in the Derby, adding to ten Hag's woes.
To make matters worse, United players complain that their kits — specifically their home socks — are too tight. Everyone gets cagey at the peak of stress and misfortune.
Ten Hag's poor start to the 2023/24 season
Manchester United sits eighth in the Premier League table and are on the verge of an early Champions League exit. The Red Devils play Newcastle in a Carabou Cup tie against Newcastle on Wednesday night.
This is even after ten Hag spent nearly $500 million on recruits, some of whom played for him during his successful stint at Ajax. Those players include the much-maligned and $100 transfer bust Antony and World Cup winner Lisandro Martinez. The Dutchman tried to sign Hakim Ziyech from Chelsea, reigniting old hopes: the two went to the Champions League semis in 2019.
Meanwhile, ten Hag forced out Cristiano Ronaldo in December 2022, and Jadon Sancho appears to be next after a falling out with the coach. Former United player Zlatan Ibrahimović also questioned Ten Hag's ability at a club like United, telling Piers Morgan in a recent interview:
“Coming from Ajax to United as he did is a big difference. Ajax is a talented club. They have the best talents in the club but no big stars. What is the experience of this?”
“Then he comes to Man United and it's a totally different mentality. The players there are big stars, you don't give them the same treatment.”
Can Ten Hag still turn things around at Manchester United?
The Red Devils have a tough stretch of Premier League matches coming up, including Newcastle and Chelsea in December. Win those two and grab some points against Fulham, Luton Town, and Everton this month, Ten Hag should consider his job safe into the new year.
However, the damage might have already been done based on what Ten Hag told reporters after the City defeat. Speaking of his successful Ajax team, where he won five trophies, he said, “We will never play that football.”
But he also remains optimistic about the near future.
“I believe that it's matter of time before we are showing our true selves. It will come, I am certain,” said ten Hag.
“At Man Utd, every game involves high stakes. Every single day, there is pressure on everybody involved with this club. But we will our best soon, I'm sure”.
Manchester United fans, does Ten Hag deserve more time, or are you already dreaming of Zidane? Let us know on Twitter.