In May, several newspapers reported that Erik ten Hag would lose his job regardless of the result of the FA Cup final. However, two weeks have passed, and his future as Manchester United manager still hasn’t been clarified.

The media reports surfaced just hours before United clashed with Manchester City at Wembley. The timing of the news drew significant fan criticism. The timing of the reports, so close to a crucial match, would undoubtedly have impacted United’s preparations for the Final.

Despite the uncertainty, United delivered their best performance of the season. They emerged victorious and outshone their opponents throughout the 90 minutes. This display was truly remarkable, given that City were heavy favourites before the game. 

The fanbase was divided on Erik ten Hag before his side lifted the trophy, but the win seemed to tip the balance of fan support in his favour. Fans at Wembley and on social media appeared to be behind the manager despite a difficult season in the Premier League.

The same can’t be said for new minority owners Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS. Since taking over, they’ve conducted a strategic review of the club at every level. They’ve already appointed several new figures in an attempt to revamp the recruitment and coaching setup. Jason Wilcox and Omar Berrada are two staff members they’ve already brought to Old Trafford.

Given INEOS’s ongoing revamp and the reports that surfaced before the FA Cup final, it appeared Erik ten Hag would definitely be leaving United. However, two weeks on from Wembley, his future remains unclear. The Dutchman is currently on holiday. Shockingly, he is said to be still unaware if he’ll be United’s manager when next season starts.

Over the past week, INEOS has met with other managers, including Thomas Tuchel. These meetings suggest that INEOS is leaning towards a manager change. Superstar football reporter Fabrizio Romano has since confirmed that Tuchel will not be taking over at United.

Still, the fact that these meetings are taking place is not a good sign for Erik ten Hag. 

There’s been further media speculation that INEOS could be waiting for Gareth Southgate. The England manager is reported to be entirely focused on the upcoming Euro 2024 campaign and unwilling to discuss his future until after the tournament. Southgate has long been rumoured to be the new owner’s top choice.

Many United fans are not as keen on the current England manager. Many on social media have been quick to criticise him despite his positive record with England. If appointed, he’d have to win over a significant portion of the United fanbase.

While the silence from INEOS is hardly a vote of confidence in Erik ten Hag, it does mean they’re still considering keeping him in place. If they were determined to move him on, they surely would have announced it by now. Some United fans are quickly souring on the new owners as their strategic review process seems to be dragging on.

Whatever INEOS decides to do, it needs to be done soon. The uncertainty around the managerial position is likely already affecting United’s summer transfer window.


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