Premier League

“Manchester United in Crisis: Erik ten Hag’s Battle for Redemption and the FA Cup Final Dilemma”

What you need to know more about

  • In the face of adversity, Ten Hag remains steadfast in his belief that he is the right man for the job, despite mounting pressure from co-owner Jim Ratcliffe’s restructuring efforts off the pitch.
  • Does he persist with Ten Hag, risking further embarrassment, or does he intervene to salvage the season and potentially spare Ten Hag the disappointment of missing out on a Wembley final.


In the aftermath of Manchester United’s humiliating 4-0 defeat against Crystal Palace, Erik ten Hag stands firm, proclaiming himself as the catalyst for the club’s revival. Yet, amidst this tumultuous period, questions arise: will he even lead the team into the FA Cup final?

The resounding loss at Selhurst Park on Monday plunged United to an alarming eighth position in the Premier League standings, casting doubts on their European qualification prospects for the upcoming season. The stark figures paint a bleak picture for fans, highlighting the stark contrast from their glory days under Alex Ferguson. With 13 losses in a single Premier League campaign and conceding a staggering 81 goals across all competitions, United finds themselves grappling with their worst form since 1976/77.

Since the 1989/90 season, United’s consistent presence in European competitions now hangs in the balance. As Newcastle and Chelsea surge in the league standings, United’s hopes for continental football hinge on a potential victory against Manchester City at Wembley. In the face of adversity, Ten Hag remains steadfast in his belief that he is the right man for the job, despite mounting pressure from co-owner Jim Ratcliffe’s restructuring efforts off the pitch.

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However, skepticism surrounds Ten Hag’s tenure, with former United striker Michael Owen advocating for immediate action, even before the FA Cup final. He contends that Ten Hag’s management falls short of the mark and is unsustainable for the future of the club. Paul Scholes, a midfield legend at United, echoes this sentiment, describing the defeat against Palace as the “final nail in the coffin” for Ten Hag.

Ten Hag, in his defense, points to a crippling injury list and the failure to secure key transfer targets as mitigating factors. His inability to acquire players like Harry Kane and Frenkie de Jong has compounded the team’s struggles. Despite significant investments, signings such as Casemiro and Antony have failed to deliver consistently, exacerbating the team’s woes.

Former United coach Rene Meulensteen emphasizes the collective responsibility for the team’s downturn, highlighting Ten Hag’s role in player recruitment and tactical preparation. He suggests that the disconnect between the coach’s vision and the players’ execution lies at the heart of the issue. Two years prior, interim manager Ralf Rangnick likened the club’s situation to requiring “open heart surgery” after years of underachievement, a sentiment that still resonates amidst ongoing struggles.

Jim Ratcliffe, the driving force behind the club’s restructuring, now faces a pivotal decision. Does he persist with Ten Hag, risking further embarrassment, or does he intervene to salvage the season and potentially spare Ten Hag the disappointment of missing out on a Wembley final? The stakes are high as United’s future hangs in the balance, with Ratcliffe’s choice likely to shape the club’s trajectory for years to come.

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