Erik ten Hag is warned he has “nowhere to hide” at Manchester United after posting more Premier League defeats in a season than Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
- Dutch coach appointed in 2022
- Delivered Carabao Cup glory
- Away form has been concerning
WHAT HAPPENED? That message has been sent by former Red Devils striker Dwight Yorke, who has seen the Dutch tactician in charge at Old Trafford suffer nine top-flight losses during his debut campaign in England with four games still left to take in. Yorke’s fellow 1999 Treble winner, Solskjaer, only came unstuck eight times in 2019-20 and six the following year – during his two full seasons at the helm – and Ten Hag has been told to expect the odd uncomfortable question of his tenure despite bringing a six-year wait for major silverware to a close.
WHAT THEY SAID: Yorke has told King Casino Bonus: “Erik ten Hag losing nine games in the Premier League does raise some issues. If you are a Manchester United manager, you will always be scrutinised for little details or mistakes. There’s nowhere to hide. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer had a better record than Ten Hag in his full two seasons managing the club, people talk about the progress we’ve made and the better style of football being played. Manchester United have reached the FA Cup final, won the Carabao Cup and made it far in the Europa League so that is progress, but Ten Hag losing more Premier League games than Solskjaer in the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons has to be called out. The results have not been good enough this season, Manchester United are looking over their shoulder and are desperately trying to hold onto fourth place, I’m not sure that’s where the club wants to be.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: The ex-United frontman, who hit 65 goals for the club through 152 appearances, added: “You can’t hide in these circumstances, the players and the manager alike need to be called out. Ten Hag gets the praise when the team is playing well, he has to take the criticism when it goes wrong too. The disappointing thing in my observation in these games is that Manchester United don’t know how to win ugly, it always has to be a pretty game of football. We rarely win games 1-0, football is not about scoring loads of goals, it’s about getting the results and rolling your sleeves up in certain games, like the West Ham game.”
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WHAT NEXT? Most of United’s problems this season have come on the road – with eight away defeats being suffered – but fortunately for them three of their final four fixtures this term are set to take place at Old Trafford, with only Bournemouth set to be faced outside of Manchester as Ten Hag seeks to wrap up a top-four finish.
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