Friday, May 24, 2024

Erik ten Hag deserves more time to turn Man Utd around – Urby Emanuelson

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 11 Apr 2024

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Erik ten Hag deserves to be given more time by Manchester United, where off-pitch disruption has hampered the Dutchman’s attempts to instil his preferred style.

That is the view of former Netherlands international Urby Emanuelson, who worked with Ten Hag at Utrecht and believes he can achieve long-term success under the Jim Ratcliffe regime.

Ten Hag is under pressure amid an underwhelming second campaign at Old Trafford, with United suffering an early Champions League exit and languishing 11 points adrift of the Premier League’s top four.

United’s total of 12 Premier League defeats this season is their joint-most in a single campaign (with 2013-14 and 2021-22), while Ten Hag’s side have also been criticised for a perceived lack of off-the-ball organisation.

Only bottom club Sheffield United (560) have faced more shots than the Red Devils’ 554 in the Premier League this season, while their expected goals against (xGA) figure of 58.2 is also the third-highest in the competition.

While Ten Hag recently said he has “no doubts” over his future, Gareth Southgate, Graham Potter and Gary O’Neil have been touted as possible successors if Ratcliffe – who recently acquired a minority stake in the club from the Glazer family – makes a change.

Emanuelson, though, thinks Ten Hag deserves more time.

“I worked with him at FC Utrecht in the last few seasons of my career, and I have to say he’s an amazing coach in the way he can prepare a team. It’s amazing,” he told Stats Perform.

“I think he’s doing well at Manchester United. It’s difficult to be a coach of Manchester United, especially in the period they are in with that club.

“You know there are a lot of things going on in Manchester, so it’s not easy not to be a coach there and I think he’s doing well.

“Of course, you cannot win everything because the Premier League is a tough league, but he’s trying to get his team ready. He’s trying to let the club, or at least the team, grow to a different level than where they were at.”

United are major outsiders in the race for Champions League qualification after being pegged back in an entertaining 2-2 draw with Liverpool last Sunday.

With seven games to play, they sit 11 points adrift of Tottenham in fourth and Aston Villa in fifth, with England potentially receiving an additional spot through UEFA’s coefficient rankings.

Emanuelson has not given up hope of the Red Devils making it, saying: “I just hope he finishes the season in a good way and they end up in the top four. I wish him all the best.

“I have a good relationship with him, and I just hope he gets the time he needs to turn things around, and I hope he will get the results he wants.”

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