Erik ten Hag - Manchester United manager

How many of you would be prepared to give ETH 1 more full season to prove himself?

  • Yes

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Lash

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It's the job of the director of football to ratify signings, not just on the manager. It's getting really weird how people want to sack ten hag as manager because he was a poor director of football. Unless you think Ten Hag alone has the remit to greenlight and propose signings (which he doesn't).
I think you have to take it higher than that (I agree with your point though). The DOF should be the objective judge of the squad, coach and vision for the club, matching up. It feels like they're administrators rather than leadership and pushing responsibility down.

I can see if a stronger personality comes in the DOF role, they may have a different vision for the club and Ten hag isn't the coach for that. Right now, Ten Hag seems to be responsible and to blame for everything, which doesn't sit well with me when we supposedly revamped the sporting structure.
 

always_hoping

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Of course we are missing Shaw, Martinez and Casemiro but those players were available for our first two games. Casemiro has been terrible all season.
Martinez when avaliable at the start of the season was clearly carrying an injury. If United are to finish at least 5th I would expect a fit and in form Shaw, Casemiro and Martinez will play a big part in it.
 

Cathy Ferguson

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The point (that has been repeated ad nauseum now) is that the DoF shouldn't just do whatever the manager wants.

Aside from the other issues surrounding manager targets, paying what we paid for Antony was absurd, even if he was Ten Hag's pick.

Wout was essentially an emergency loan who was quite clearly never the main target for his position.
I totally agree but a major issue is that we have signed a DoF not from Real or Arsenal but from Everton. And when ETH walked through the door he basically got everything he asked for. It is now clear that the DoF AND the manager of a top club are quite clueless about which players to buy and how much to pay for them. Murtough should leave asap.
 

Suv666

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Our attack has been something else man
13 goals scored this season is shocking. Only 6 teams have scored less, 3 of them are in the relegation zone.
 

Cathy Ferguson

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Martinez when avaliable at the start of the season was clearly carrying an injury. If United are to finish at least 5th I would expect a fit and in form Shaw, Casemiro and Martinez will play a big part in it.
I would be amazed if we finish top 5 with this group of strikers and wingers.
 

Alex99

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I totally agree but a major issue is that we have signed a DoF not from Real or Arsenal but from Everton. And when ETH walked through the door he basically got everything he asked for. It is now clear that the DoF AND the manager of a top club are quite clueless about which players to buy and how much to pay for them. Murtough should leave asap.
Yeah, I've been a very vocal critic of Murtough's (and Fletcher's) appointment(s).

They were clearly lip-service appointments designed to appease fans and present the idea that we were, in fact, a properly run club.

It's since been essentially confirmed that Fletcher is only a Technical Director in name, and actually does very little, if anything, in the way of a typical TD role, and Murtough was a bloke brought in by Moyes and basically seemed to survive long enough in the background to still be here when the club were desperately scrambling around trying to find a Director of Football. If he hadn't been here, we'd have probably ended up hiring Rio Ferdinand fore the role, such is the way the club seems to operate.

Murtough needs to go. Fletcher too in all likelihood.

While I agree that we've had some massively disappointing signings since ETH came in (although I'm still willing to give Mount time, even if I've never really been a fan), and it's fine to criticise Ten Hag's eye for a player (if indeed these were his priority targets), it's ultimately not on him that the recruitment system is fecked and allowed him that power, and I'm far more willing to give the manager more time than the woefully unqualified people above him.
 

Thom Merrilin

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Yeah, I've been a very vocal critic of Murtough's (and Fletcher's) appointment(s).

They were clearly lip-service appointments designed to appease fans and present the idea that we were, in fact, a properly run club.

It's since been essentially confirmed that Fletcher is only a Technical Director in name, and actually does very little, if anything, in the way of a typical TD role, and Murtough was a bloke brought in by Moyes and basically seemed to survive long enough in the background to still be here when the club were desperately scrambling around trying to find a Director of Football. If he hadn't been here, we'd have probably ended up hiring Rio Ferdinand fore the role, such is the way the club seems to operate.

Murtough needs to go. Fletcher too in all likelihood.

While I agree that we've had some massively disappointing signings since ETH came in (although I'm still willing to give Mount time, even if I've never really been a fan), and it's fine to criticise Ten Hag's eye for a player (if indeed these were his priority targets), it's ultimately not on him that the recruitment system is fecked and allowed him that power, and I'm far more willing to give the manager more time than the woefully unqualified people above him.
In response to the bolded, it was explained by the club what Fletchers role would be on the same day it was announced. Anyone who thinks Fletcher acts as a traditional technical director is just ignorant at this point. Although his title is quite misleading so its understandable. His role when appointed technical director was to remain as part of the coaching staff under Ole and also work on transitioning players between the academy and the first team.
 

Chip

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Who do we replace him with Chip?
I don't know. I'm just stating that if things keep going the way they have this season so far and chunks of last season he shouldn't feel safe. Just like Moyes, LVG, Mourinho, and Ole before him.

When your team constantly put in shit performances despite spending shitloads of money on players you should lose your job - and I don't see why EtH should be treated any differently than the managers before him.
 

ColvaleGoa

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The “only 6/7 points off Arsenal/City” posts remind me of that Christmas period during Moyes’ year where we picked up points and went on a run vs poor teams and people got excited. Once the games got tougher we got exposed.

Performance and points eventually tie up the longer the season goes on. We can’t attack and we can’t defend either, so if we keep up this level of performance the 6/7 point gap which people seem to be proud of will double this time next month.

But this time around..we will get better after Christmas...we just need to hang on to the coattails till than.
 

Alex99

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In response to the bolded, it was explained by the club what Fletchers role would be on the same day it was announced. Anyone who thinks Fletcher acts as a traditional technical director is just ignorant at this point. Although his title is quite misleading so its understandable. His role when appointed technical director was to remain as part of the coaching staff under Ole and also work on transitioning players between the academy and the first team.
I'm not generally a fan of the "jobs for the boys" thing but Fletcher very much seems to have one because of his connection, rather than any actual suitability for a role at the club.

I can't help but doubt his effectiveness as a coach, and this "transitioning players between the academy and the first team" bit is surely what the academy heads and youth managers/coaches do?
 

Chip

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It's the job of the director of football to ratify signings, not just on the manager. It's getting really weird how people want to sack ten hag as manager because he was a poor director of football. Unless you think Ten Hag alone has the remit to greenlight and propose signings (which he doesn't).
It doesn't change the fact that we play shit football under him even though he's been largely allowed to pick his signing. Look no further than Antony.

I don't think he should be sacked at this very moment - but if things don't start improving soon I think we should consider other options (which are unfortunately sparse at the moment).
 

bleedred

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It's the job of the director of football to ratify signings, not just on the manager. It's getting really weird how people want to sack ten hag as manager because he was a poor director of football. Unless you think Ten Hag alone has the remit to greenlight and propose signings (which he doesn't).
Ok. Even if we ignore the signings that have been made, you just look at the squad he inherited and can you tell me how many of the players he has improved because he that is one of the factors that's needed to determine his "managerial/coaching" part of the role, right?. Could he be sacked considering that he failed at that side of his job??

I mean before you say, all these players he inherited are useless and uncoachable, then how about the players that were signed and ratified by the DOF, apparently, how come he is not able to get the best out of these players. Never-mind the fees, how come he cannot even get the best out of the new signings which he may not have ratified, but was surely consulted on, right?

The consensus when he joined was that there were some deadwood in the squad and he would have to improve the performances of the rest through his coaching ability. Which has now suddenly shifted to all these players are useless and he needs to be given a new set of players who would fit his style, God knows what that his, and it would have to be the role of the dof to identify these players for him, because he is shite at identifying the players that would suit his style...
 

Lentwood

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I'm really conflicted, don't know what to think right now. I really like ETH as a bloke but I have serious concerns about him that I can't shake.

I'm torn between 'there's not enough progress tactically' and 'we need to give a coach three seasons+ to fully change our playing style'.
 

always_hoping

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I would be amazed if we finish top 5 with this group of strikers and wingers.
Finished in the top 3 last season scoring just 58 goals.

The aim should be 65/70 points that will likely be enough for 5th. Currently have 21 points from 12 games just two points short of last seasons total with the same games played.
 

Alex99

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Ok. Even if we ignore the signings that have been made, you just look at the squad he inherited and can you tell me how many of the players he has improved because he that is one of the factors that's needed to determine his "managerial/coaching" part of the role, right?. Could he be sacked considering that he failed at that side of his job??

I mean before you say, all these players he inherited are useless and uncoachable, then how about the players that were signed and ratified by the DOF, apparently, how come he is not able to get the best out of these players. Never-mind the fees, how come he cannot even get the best out of the new signings which he may not have ratified, but was surely consulted on, right?

The consensus when he joined was that there were some deadwood in the squad and he would have to improve the performances of the rest through his coaching ability. Which has now suddenly shifted to all these players are useless and he needs to be given a new set of players who would fit his style, God knows what that his, and it would have to be the role of the dof to identify these players for him, because he is shite at identifying the players that would suit his style...
I dislike this argument because it's always based on the assumption that improvement = becoming a key player for the first team.

I don't think it's true that we haven't seen improvements from some players. For starters, Wan-Bissaka has looked better under ETH, but it's just evident he doesn't have the skillset required. I'd argue Dalot too, but again, he's just not good enough. Same again for Lindelof. Additionally, Fred looked more functional last season than I ever remember him looking before, but again, he's just not that good.

Not quite the same thing, but Shaw was surprisingly good as a left centre back when Martinez was unavailable, and despite wanting rid in the summer, he's managed to find a way to make McTominay at least somewhat effective so far this season.

Who did Klopp really improve at Liverpool? He replaced most of the players he inherited and not having the right players was the precise reason given to excuse his 8th placed finish the season he took over (which he did with 30 games remaining), and the faltering form that saw them hanging on to top four the next season.

The only players inherited by Klopp that were ever really part of his success were Henderson, Milner, Firmino and Gomez, and three of them had only signed that summer, with Gomez still a teenager.
 

cyberman

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We shouldn't even be defending a 0-3 loss at home to a mediocre Newcastle side.
But it’s reserve side v reserve side, anything can happen. Our players showed why they aren’t suited to this club anymore, we lost to a back 4 of fullbacks
 

ayushreddevil9

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Finished in the top 3 last season scoring just 58 goals.

The aim should be 65/70 points that will likely be enough for 5th. Currently have 21 points from 12 games just two points short of last seasons total with the same games played.
Says more about how bad teams around us were.
 

Rojofiam

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My take on recruitment under ETH so far

Antony, Martínez, Malacia, Eriksen, Mount, Onana, Amrabat: Players he worked with before and/or knew well enough to recommend to the club

Casemiro, Hojlund: Club/Scout recommendations that he agreed on

Weghorst, Sabitzer, Dubravka, Reguilon, Butland, Bayindir, Evans: Irrelevant
 

city-puma

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My take on recruitment under ETH so far

Antony, Martínez, Malacia, Eriksen, Mount, Onana, Amrabat: Players he worked with before and/or knew well enough to recommend to the club

Casemiro, Hojlund: Club/Scout recommendations that he agreed on

Weghorst, Sabitzer, Dubravka, Reguilon, Butland, Bayindir, Evans: Irrelevant
About right I think, except Eriksen. He would become free agent in that summer, and everyone knew it long long time prior to that. He was probably recommended by recruit team as well.
 

BenitoSTARR

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Think it said more about how well a first choice defence performed especially at home. One defeat in Old Trafford all season and only a handful of goals conceded in Old Trafford
That clearly only happened due to luck and is in no way at all attributable to good coaching.
 

AFC NimbleThumb

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There's a decent argument to be made that this has ultimately been ETH's downfall, as simply taking Antony and Mount out (two obviously poor signings that ETH heavily pushed for) and replacing them with Diaby and potentially Thuram + a CB would already improve our outlook as a squad. It was alarming even last summer when it felt like all of our players we were being linked to were all Ajax or connected to ETH personally as it really showed who was driving most of the recruitment. No manager can be both a DoF and manage a huge club in the PL, it's impossible in today's game.

Now, regardless of our poor recruitment I do think ETH deserves shouldering blame for our mostly listless play/lack of clear style this year as we've largely been fit in the midfield and forward line yet have been pretty atrocious going forward.
Yep. Mount & Antony will be a burden he won’t easily shake.
I also don’t buy the “we look worse than last season”. Progress is not always linear. People also are failing to take into consideration all the shit Trn Hag has had to deal with. I can’t guarantee that ETH will take us where we want to be but I can’t accept there are grounds for sacking him.
How often has the excuse that performance isn’t linear led to a sudden upturn in performance & results?

That isn’t me saying performances are linear, of course they aren’t but excusing why we’re seeing with the linear argument doesn’t make sense. Results may not follow a straight path but generally something about performances will.

I completely disagree. If he doesn’t have final say on transfers then he cannot be held accountable for recruitment. If we don’t win, there will always be arguments about whose fault it is.

The director of football should be in charge of the administration and execution of all the agreed strategies. The manager should have ultimate responsibility for all football matters.

Granted, you have to be careful when you recruit your manager. You might recruit him based on how well he fits the existing strategy, fine, but you have to then concentrate the authority where it matters.

There is no sense at all giving all the authority to a DoF unless you are going to sack him if you don’t win.
The bolded part is exactly why he shouldn’t have the definitive say on transfers. He is a coach, he is not a DoF &/or scout.

I’m not saying give all the authority to the DoF, have one of them en vogue transfer committees for all I care but given the underwhelming EtH inspired transfers thus far giving the man a further £350mil so you can say it’s his fault is silly.
Antony, Martínez, Malacia, Eriksen, Mount, Onana, Amrabat: Players he worked with before and/or knew well enough to recommend to the club
The thing that strikes me so much about that part of your list is how lightweight they are. EtH really hasn’t understood the physicality of the league.
 
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MadDogg

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he was the best defender in the league, went and won the World Cup, came back and won us a trophy and then got injured

chris smalling… ok sure
For three months. And let's not pretend he played a big part in winning that World Cup - he only started two games.

Smalling had half a season in 15/16 where he was the best in the league as well. Indeed his 15/16 is still the best season any of our defenders have had since Rio and Vidic declined.
 

Redstain

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The performances are a concern in contrast to the bigger games where the objective is far tougher with opposition players who are of better players and or organised more robustly.

The run in December through mid-January will likely determine Eths immediate future as predictably the club could be out of Europe. The silver lining is that the players are putting in the effort and haven't downed tools which has been apparent against the lower quality teams the last three weeks.
 
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USREDEVIL

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For three months. And let's not pretend he played a big part in winning that World Cup - he only started two games.

Smalling had half a season in 15/16 where he was the best in the league as well. Indeed his 15/16 is still the best season any of our defenders have had since Rio and Vidic declined.
He was never the same after he changed his name to Mike.
 

In Rainbows

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For three months. And let's not pretend he played a big part in winning that World Cup - he only started two games.

Smalling had half a season in 15/16 where he was the best in the league as well. Indeed his 15/16 is still the best season any of our defenders have had since Rio and Vidic declined.
Yeah except Smalling still didn't provide an ability to play out from the back. A big difference. It's the entire reason why we got rid of him. We didn't get rid of him because he was awful at defending.
 

AFC NimbleThumb

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Yeah except Smalling still didn't provide an ability to play out from the back. A big difference. It's the entire reason why we got rid of him. We didn't get rid of him because he was awful at defending.
You’ve missed the point of his post entirely.
 

In Rainbows

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You’ve missed the point of his post entirely.
I liked Smalling's defending, and think the same of Martinez. I get his stance on both players having short periods of excellence, but I think Martinez's excellence was greater due to him being a better all around player. If Smalling was better at playing out from the back, he probably should have stayed. In fact, I still prefer Smalling over slightly better passers in Lindelof. I've usually defended Smalling on redcafe in comparison to Phil Jones, who after the 2012 season made me realize this guy was a dud despite his great attitude.

Oh man, I still get a chuckle from Fergie praising him to the extent he did that one time.
 

Thom Merrilin

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I'm not generally a fan of the "jobs for the boys" thing but Fletcher very much seems to have one because of his connection, rather than any actual suitability for a role at the club.

I can't help but doubt his effectiveness as a coach, and this "transitioning players between the academy and the first team" bit is surely what the academy heads and youth managers/coaches do?
Yeah I agree, it's all a bit of a mess. He's not operating as a normal technical director for sure.
 

VP89

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So did Murtough sign Antony, Wout, Amrabat, and Mount against the wish of ETH who wanted other players in?
No, but the idea that ETH signed these players against the will of the DoF is just bizarre.

It doesn't change the fact that we play shit football under him even though he's been largely allowed to pick his signing. Look no further than Antony.

I don't think he should be sacked at this very moment - but if things don't start improving soon I think we should consider other options (which are unfortunately sparse at the moment).
Yeah we played shite football this season, whilst also having serious injuries. Spurs lose two players and looked shite against Wolves. Posters against ten hag were chatting rubbish about how great ange was in such a quick time up to then.

Newcastle had a few injuries and looked shite vs Bournemouth too. It's almost like having a few key injuries disrupts your style of play.
 

Rojofiam

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About right I think, except Eriksen. He would become free agent in that summer, and everyone knew it long long time prior to that. He was probably recommended by recruit team as well.
I think the club was aware of all those players I listed, it's just that guys like Martínez, Malacia, Antony, etc. were never considered to be a target until ten Hag decided that he wants them. I know our scouts and recruitment system is often criticized but surely every top club knows about the biggest young talents in the top 6/7 European leagues.
 

golden_blunder

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He’s now played 3 full 90’s and been training with the first team for almost a month. It’s not “throwing him in” and he’s probably our most talented midfielder at the moment considering what we’ve been trotting out there for weeks.
Considering he’s 18 and hardly played for the first team how do you make that statement? There’s a huge difference between playing u23 football and first team at PL level. Talk about putting him up against unrealistic expectations from the off!
 

VP89

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Considering he’s 18 and hardly played for the first team how do you make that statement? There’s a huge difference between playing u23 football and first team at PL level. Talk about putting him up against unrealistic expectations from the off!
True, plus ten hag is under the cosh in games. It's not like he's been leading 2-0 with 15 mins to go in order to bring mainoo on.
 

Chumpsbechumps

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I really hope ETH can get through this tough period, get everybody back fit and go on a run. It would be nice aswell if the ownership and funding situation was clear as even that could give the squad a boost.

As bad as it’s been, I’d love to see what it’s like when it’s as good as it can get, I really don’t think we have seen that yet.
 

Oranges038

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It's funny, but anyone's who has played CM/FM over the years recognise this pattern. First you're inexplicably shit. Then you scrape a few results together from nearly nothing, before the ball starts rolling in earnest and you put together a Solskjær-esque run of form.

Life imitates art. Hopefully.
Then in true FM style you then lose out on getting the needed points on the last day, due to some ridiculous goalkeeper performance and some random shitebags first goal of the season, which just also happens to be his first ever goal for the club and when you look back in 5 seasons it's the only goal the cnut ever scored.
 

Alex99

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Then in true FM style you then lose out on getting the needed points on the last day, due to some ridiculous goalkeeper performance and some random shitebags first goal of the season, which just also happens to be his first ever goal for the club and when you look back in 5 seasons it's the only goal the cnut ever scored.
He was also released from your academy as a 17 year old.
 

miliebrowndivorceattorney

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Are you aware of the fact that Meulensteen has left the club in 2013? So ranting about what he thinks went on this summer, is a pretty pointless exercise. He is not far more than a fan these days, he is a professional, so on certain questions, it makes sense to listen to him but about current events, it is pretty daft. You just like to believe it because it fits your (in this aspect pretty shortsighted) point of view.
Ehm, no, Meulensteen is quoted as being very much still in contact with Ferguson. Or do you suggest ferguson is also out for 10 years and doesnt know anything than the average fan?
 

evil_geko

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Spurs lose two players and looked shite against Wolves. Posters against ten hag were chatting rubbish about how great ange was in such a quick time up to then.

Newcastle had a few injuries and looked shite vs Bournemouth too. It's almost like having a few key injuries disrupts your style of play.
Of course, City also started dropping points after some injuries etc, and it is all common sense for everyone except anti Ten Hag brigade, where mentioning common sense = excuses. When he has run of games with healthy squad, and we still don't see difference, then I am fine with people starting to be against him. It is all about context.