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Sir Jim Ratcliffe explains decision to retain Erik ten Hag at Manchester United

Published: Updated: 06:19, 24 Jun 2024
Manchester United co-owner thinks Ten Hag was unlucky last season with injuries and other things

Manchester United co-owner, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, recently shed light on the decision to retain Erik ten Hag as the first-team manager. The revelation came during his appearance at The Times CEO Summit.

Two-and-a-half weeks after United's triumphant victory over Manchester City in the FA Cup final, it was officially confirmed that Ten Hag would continue his tenure at Old Trafford. This decision followed an end-of-season review and came despite a significant amount of scrutiny surrounding Ten Hag's performance.

The Dutchman had led the team to an eighth-place finish in the league - a record low for Manchester United in Premier League history. Consequently, rumors circulated about potential replacements for Ten Hag. Reports suggested that INEOS, United's owners, held discussions with several managers including Thomas Tuchel and Mauricio Pochettino. However, both parties ultimately agreed on continuing with Ten Hag’s leadership – a decision that Ratcliffe was asked to elaborate on during his talk at The Times CEO Summit.

Ratcliffe backs Ten Hag despite criticism

When questioned about his rationale behind keeping faith with Erik ten Hag amidst criticism and disappointing league results, Ratcliffe responded: "Erik? Because he’s a good coach." He further highlighted ten Hags' successful stints at Ajax and Bayern Munich before being interrupted by another question from the interviewer.

The interviewer then posed another critical query: "Does the success of Manchester United come down to the choice of coach?" This question comes just days after Ratcliffe stated in an interview with Bloomberg that he believes "the coach isn't central issue at Manchester United."

Manchester United co-owner, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, said:

“The man in the street likes to think that the coach is everything and that everything revolves around the coach, and maybe it did in the days of Alex Ferguson. But if you look at those 11 seasons at Manchester United we’ve had a whole series of coaches, and some of them are very good ones, we’ve probably had seven coaches and none of them have succeeded at all.

“You can’t prescribe the root of the problem to the coach. It’s the environment they’re working in. That’s where we are putting our efforts — the management, the practices, the quality of the people, all those types of things that we have to address at Manchester United — which is what we would do in [any] business.”

Erik ten Hags' future plans

Last week provided some insight into what lies ahead for Erik ten Hags' future as he joined Dutch broadcaster NOS for Euro 2024 match between England and Serbia. As the dust settles on the recent controversies, fans and critics alike will be keenly watching how Ten Hag steers Manchester United in the forthcoming season.

Despite a challenging season and intense scrutiny, Erik ten Hag remains at the helm of Manchester United. The decision to retain him underscores Ratcliffe's faith in his coaching abilities. It also suggests a shift in focus from solely blaming coaching for poor performance towards addressing other potential issues within the club.

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