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Man Utd fans shouldn't be surprised Ten Hag has been left in limbo


MANCHESTER UNITED fans should not be surprised it is taking so long to decide on Erik ten Hag’s future.

New director Sir Dave Brailsford admitted he tends to agonise over making key decisions — chewing over every permutation.

Erik ten Hag's future is still not known


Erik ten Hag’s future is still not knownCredit: Alamy
Sir David Brailsford will be part of the decision-making committee


Sir David Brailsford will be part of the decision-making committeeCredit: Getty

That may explain the ongoing Old Trafford silence —   two-and-a-half weeks after Ten Hag led United to FA Cup glory over neighbours City.

A second piece of silverware in two seasons means many fans want the Dutchman to stay.

Yet an eighth-place Prem saw Man United miss out on Champions League riches by some distance.

So there is much to ponder in new owners Ineos’ end-of-season review but, even so, it seems to be taking a long time.

Incoming chief executive Omar Berrada does not officially start work for another month while there is no certainty over when Dan Ashworth might take up his job as director of football.

That leaves technical director Jason Wilcox helping Sir Jim Ratcliffe and his right-hand man Brailsford in deciding the way forward.

It emerged at the weekend that talks have been held with Thomas Tuchel — suggesting options are still being weighed up.

Cycling supremo Brailsford revealed on a ‘Diary of a CEO’ podcast in 2022, he does not take big calls lightly.


Brailsford said: “When the real moments arrive, they are very stressful. I get very introspective, look at myself in the mirror and think it through.

“Everyone who works with me will say it takes me time to make a decision because I think of every permutation — and I think it through so much.

All 16 of Erik ten Hag’s Man Utd signings ranked

Ten Hag’s five worst defeats

ERIK TEN HAG has suffered some heavy defeats during his tenure as Manchester United manager.

5. Copenhagen 4-3 Man Utd, November 2023

The damaging defeat saw the Red Devils dumped out of the Champions League.

4. Man Utd 0-3 Bournemouth, December 2023

It was the first time the Cherries had ever won at Old Trafford with the players being booed off.

3. Brentford 4-0 Man Utd, August 2022

Perhaps a sign of things to come, in Ten Hag’s second Premier League game, his side was dismantled by the Bees.

2. Crystal Palace 4-0 Man Utd, May 2024

The heavy defeat to the Eagles saw the Dutchman edge ever closer to the sack.

1. Liverpool 7-0 Man Utd, March 2023

Man Utd were embarrassed at the hands of their bitter rivals as they crumbled at Anfield as it was the club’s worst defeat in 92 years.

“Emotionally, I get fully engaged with these things and I have to think very carefully about them.

“I’ve had to make a couple of pretty big decisions and you think ‘what do I believe in?’

“Is it a popular decision, a performance decision?

“Are we trying to win or to keep people happy? Where do we go?

“Without figuring out what I believe in you’re always going to be caught in a storm — and it’s going to be mentally excruciating.

“So I like to anchor myself. What are my values, what do I believe in and how does it apply to this situation?”

Ratcliffe met twice with former Bayern Munich and Chelsea boss Tuchel — only for the German to rule himself out as he plans a year away from management.

Gareth Southgate, Roberto De Zerbi, Mauricio Pochettino and Graham Potter have all been linked with the job.

It means Ten Hag is still waiting to discover whether he will be given the green light to take the reins for a third season.


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