EPL

James does not see Ten Hag staying at Man Utd

By Sports Desk March 18, 2024

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is unlikely to retain his position next season, so says David James. 

The Red Devils sit sixth in the Premier League table after a mixed campaign, with some calling for Ten Hag to be replaced following a series of underwhelming performances and a group-stage Champions League exit.

However, United claimed a morale-boosting victory on Sunday when Amad Diallo scored in the 121st minute to snatch a 4-3 win, after extra time, over Liverpool in the FA Cup quarter-finals.

But with INEOS owner Jim Ratcliffe, whose purchase of a 27.7 per cent stake in the club was ratified earlier this year, having taken charge of football operations, James believes Ten Hag will not be part of the hierarchy next year. 

"I think traditionally with United, the manager's job is solely dependent on qualification in the Champions League," James told Stats Perform.

"I don't think they're going to qualify for the Champions League. I don't think [he’ll] be there next year on that basis to start with.

"I hear him talk about good performances when they lose games or good parts in losing matches and I think this doesn't sound like Manchester United.

"I've got nothing against the person as an individual, of course, but as a manager, I'm not hearing from him what I think I should be hearing about Manchester United, who are one of the biggest clubs in the world. So next season, I don't think he'll be there, as simple as that."

Ten Hag's side lost 3-1 in the Manchester derby at the Etihad Stadium earlier this month, having held a 1-0 lead going into half-time courtesy of a Marcus Rashford stunner. 

When asked for his thoughts on that performance, James said: "I watched them. I was at the Manchester derby and it's probably one of the worst games I've seen United play.

"I know they were leading 1-0 but the last shot in the game was in the 23rd minute. That was a wonderful strike but you would argue a slightly fortuitous strike by Marcus Rashford. They were poor, very, very poor. This isn't what I expect from United.

"I was doing the commentary and saying – I think it was 60-odd minutes, 65 – how is this still one all? How is this game still a draw? I just couldn't make any sense."

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