Damning stats show Ten Hag was “remarkably fortunate” to avoid Man United sack, says journalist

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Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag looks very lucky to keep hold of his job at Old Trafford, as noted by journalist James Pearce as he listed a number of damning stats for the Dutch tactician from the season just gone with the Red Devils.

Man Utd ended the 2023/24 campaign on a high by beating rivals Manchester City in the FA Cup final, but in general there were some really poor moments from the team, in terms of both results and performances.

At the same time, United were also very unlucky with a long list of injuries to key players, so perhaps giving him more time isn’t the worst idea, but Pearce certainly has a point about the former Ajax boss being lucky to carry on given some of these stats below…

As Pearce notes, it was a historically bad campaign from United, who finished 8th in the Premier League table, their lowest finish in 34 years, which was also the last time they finished with a negative goal difference.

There might always be an argument for giving managers time, but in the modern game it’s not often we’d see a manager survive stats like this at such a big club, so it’s a huge show of faith from the MUFC board.

It will be interesting to see if this ends up being the right call, but if United have another bad season again next year then the figures at the club making these decisions can’t say the warning signs weren’t there.

Ten Hag decision explained by Romano

Fabrizio Romano provided some insight into the Ten Hag decision in his Daily Briefing column earlier today, saying: “After a long review, Manchester United have decided to keep Erik ten Hag as their manager. It’s decided, it’s confirmed, and it comes more than two weeks after Ten Hag guided Man United to victory over Manchester City in the FA Cup final. Many people thought that maybe that would be Ten Hag’s final game in charge, but he’s staying, and they have also started discussing a new contract for the Dutch manager.

“A contract extension is now expected for Ten Hag – positive conversations have started and will continue in the next days and weeks, but Man United want to give their manager a longer contract to show their trust in him and his ideas, and so not to have rumours already after the first few games next season in the Premier League. Conversations are ongoing, and there is a very good chance to see Ten Hag extending his contract at Old Trafford.

“So, what happened? It was obviously a difficult season for Manchester United, but it’s also impossible to ignore the injury crisis they had. There were more than 65 separate cases of injuries and illness over the course of the season, an incredible amount. Internally, Man United believe this was a crucial point in terms of why the season was so poor, especially in the Premier League, and also finishing bottom of the Champions League group, but still winning an important trophy at the end of it.

Erik ten Hag is staying at Manchester United

“The injuries were something discussed in this long review by Manchester United, with the directors, the board, and also co-owners INEOS really active in this – Sir Jim Ratcliffe himself was working on this review to make the best decision possible for Manchester United. This review ended up taking more than two weeks, because they wanted to consider all the options available for the best solution for the club.”

He added: “In the end, the feeling was that they wanted to take their time, and now they are sure, after final meetings, that Ten Hag is the man they want to keep. They know Ten Hag was not able to do his best job as manager with this incredible amount of injuries, they feel this is unacceptable, and Ten Hag spoke about it publicly as well, saying that he had to change his back line more than thirty times – this is not normal, especially when you are a top club, so to fix the injury situation is a total priority for Manchester United.”

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