Erik ten Hag: 3 reasons Manchester United did not sack Dutch manager

Reasons Manchester United opted to keep Erik ten Hag (Imago)

Erik ten Hag: 3 reasons Manchester United did not sack Dutch manager

Seye Omidiora 19:34 - 12.06.2024

The Red Devils opted against dismissing the 2024 FA Cup winner despite previous reports pointing to a parting of ways.

Erik ten Hag was expected to lose his job at Manchester United after a disappointing season that saw the Red Devils end eighth in the Premier League, exit the Champions League in the group stage and be eliminated in the fourth round of the EFL Cup against Newcastle United

Reports in England claimed the Dutchman was getting fired regardless of the FA Cup final result against Manchester City at Wembley Stadium at the backend of May, but the former Ajax manager remains in situ after an internal review. 

Man United defeated Pep Guardiola’s error-strewn side at Wembley in the FA Cup, leading to support for Ten Hag increasing. According to The Daily Star, the club did sound out potential replacements for the 54-year-old, but ultimately kept him for several reasons. 

Why Manchester United did not sack Erik ten Hag

  • The Red Devils’ inability to agree with potential replacements like Thomas Tuchel or Roberto De Zerbi meant Ten Hag retained his job. The uncertainty about Gareth Southgate’s availability after this summer’s European Championship helped the Dutchman’s cause. Southgate, currently in charge of England, was reported to be Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s preferred choice because of his competence in creating an amiable dressing room culture. 
  • The Dutchman's two trophies in as many years were positives in the eyes of the INEOS group led by Ratcliffe, with Manchester United winning the EFL Cup in 2022-23 and triumphing in the concluded campaign's FA Cup, having gone six years without winning until the Dutchman's arrival in the summer of 2022. 
  • Man United’s owners were also said to be impressed with Ten Hag’s tactical acumen to get the better of Jurgen Klopp in the FA Cup quarter-final at Old Trafford and an even more impressive showing to defeat Man City in the decider. Both results highlighted the 54-year-old’s adeptness at defeating the best managers in England, somewhat aiding his ultimate survival at Old Trafford. 

Erik ten Hag and Bruno Fernandes after FA Cup success over Man City
Manchester United captain Bruno Fernandes and manager Erik ten Hag after FA Cup win (Credit: Imago)

What comes next?

It remains to be seen how much Ten Hag lasts at Old Trafford, even if the club are reportedly keen to offer the former Ajax boss a new contract. 

Regardless, fans of the Red Devils will be pleased to move on from the managerial uncertainty and look forward to the 2024-25 season.