Neville sees one last lifeline for Ten Hag in the 'recurring story' at United

According to former Mancunian Gary Neville, the fate of Erik ten Hag at Manchester United will largely depend on the performances in the FA Cup. The former captain sees his old club continuing to decline under Ten Hag.

Neville sees one last lifeline for Ten Hag in the 'recurring story' at United Embed from Getty Images

Manchester United's struggle for form continues as they have been unable to secure a win in their last four Premier League matches, leaving them in a disappointing seventh place.

Gary Neville likens Erik ten Hag’s challenges to those faced by his predecessors at United Louis van Gaal, José Mourinho, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and Ralf Rangnick, who was eventually replaced by interim manager Michael Carrick. Neville describes a troubling pattern at the club: "It’s becoming a recurring story with the managers at United. Over the past eight or nine seasons, you see the same thing happening. In their second or third season, everything completely falls apart," Neville expressed his concerns to Sky Sports. He specifically mentioned United's subpar performances against teams like Brentford and Bournemouth, highlighting the gravity of the situation.

FA Cup Hopes

Amidst ongoing struggles, the FA Cup presents a crucial lifeline for Ten Hag. Neville points out that injuries have been a concern, but insists that the return of key players like Luke Shaw and Lisandro Martínez should not be seen as a cure-all for the team’s deeper issues. "I can't think of any excuse for why United is playing so poorly," he stated, observing a lack of visible frustration or disappointment among the fans, which might indicate a waning patience with the club’s direction. The critical importance of the FA Cup to Ten Hag's future was underscored, emphasizing that winning it might be essential for maintaining his position.

Semifinal Challenges

Looking ahead, United is set to face Coventry City in the FA Cup semifinals at Wembley next Sunday. This match comes after last season's bitter disappointment where United fell to Manchester City in the final. The pressure to succeed this year is immense, not just for silverware but also to salvage a season that is threatening to end in underachievement.

Casemiro’s Critique

Amid these challenges, Jamie Carragher has critiqued the impact of Casemiro, Ten Hag’s notable midfield acquisition. In his column for The Telegraph, Carragher reflected on the Brazilian's performance: "I never believed that Casemiro would repay his transfer value. Not because he isn't good enough, but more because of his age. He was a panic buy after the failed attempt to acquire Frenkie de Jong. Casemiro is not performing anymore," he commented. This analysis points to deeper issues in United’s recruitment strategy and squad dynamics, adding another layer to the ongoing debate about the club’s direction under Ten Hag.

As United prepares for their critical FA Cup match, the narrative around the club continues to evolve, shaped by performances, managerial decisions, and the ever-present scrutiny from fans and analysts alike. The coming weeks could define the course of Ten Hag’s tenure and perhaps the immediate future of Manchester United.

Updated: 11:43, 15 Apr 2024

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