Erik ten Hag to stay as Manchester United manager

Erik Ten Hag: The Survivor of Manchester United's Turbulent Season

Erik Ten Hag: The Survivor of Manchester United's Turbulent Season

It's official: Erik ten Hag is keeping his seat as Manchester United manager, a decision that comes as a surprise to many given the club's turbulent season. The 54-year-old Dutch manager has endured a rollercoaster ride since taking the helm at Old Trafford, and his future has been the subject of intense speculation for months.

A Season of Ups and Downs

Manchester United's 2023-24 campaign was nothing short of dramatic. Ten Hag's side started the season with high hopes, but their Premier League performance left much to be desired. Finishing in eighth place, the club hit its lowest point in the Premier League era, with a mere 60 points, only two points away from their worst tally ever.

To make matters worse, their goal difference of minus one took them into negative territory for the first time in 34 years. This disappointing run also extended to their Champions League campaign, where they finished at the bottom of their group and failed to make it past the group stage.

A Silver Lining: The FA Cup Victory

However, Ten Hag's side showed glimpses of brilliance, most notably in the FA Cup. In a thrilling final, they defeated rivals Manchester City 2-1 at Wembley Stadium, securing the club's second trophy under Ten Hag's management. This win came after a successful first season, where they finished third in the Premier League and won the EFL Cup, also reaching the FA Cup final.

Uncertainty and Rumors

Despite these triumphs, rumors swirled about Ten Hag's future. The build-up to the FA Cup final was dominated by speculation, with the manager himself admitting he didn't know if the match would be his last in charge. The club's end-of-season review was always going to be a decisive moment, and potential replacements were already being considered.

The Decision to Keep Ten Hag

Manchester United's new co-owner, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, and INEOS sporting director, Sir Dave Brailsford, led the review process. Ultimately, they decided to stick with Ten Hag, a choice that can be partly attributed to the FA Cup victory. It was a remarkable turnaround, and the United hierarchy had to balance this win and their second trophy of the season against a generally miserable campaign.

What's Next for Ten Hag and Manchester United?

With the decision made, Ten Hag and Manchester United can now focus on the future. Ten Hag is in talks to extend his contract beyond next June, with an option to prolong it by 12 months. The club has also made significant changes to its footballing structure, bringing in new executives and directors, including Omar Berrada from Manchester City as the club's new chief executive.

While the immediate crisis has been averted, the pressure is now on Ten Hag to deliver results. The manager himself has expressed his winning mentality, stating, "Two trophies in two years is not bad, three finals in two years is not bad. If they don’t want me, then I go somewhere else to win trophies because that is what I do."

Only time will tell if Ten Hag can bring Manchester United back to its former glory, but for now, he remains at the helm, ready to tackle the challenges that lie ahead. It's a new season, a fresh start, and the hope of better days for the Red Devils.

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