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Revealed: Why Manchester United stood by Erik ten Hag

Sir Jim Ratcliffe has revealed the reason why Erik ten Hag has been kept on at Old Trafford.

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This season has been somewhat of a rollercoaster for United, with some really big lows for the club, before a successful end to the year.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s post-season review which lasted a fortnight spans a season where the club achieved their lowest finish in the Premier League since 1990, a failed Champions League campaign, an extensive injury list, but also an FA Cup win.

United’s performances have been extremely questionable resulting in their eight place finish in the Premier League and crashing out of the Champions League group stage as bottom of the group.

However, a large factor of these performances have been the number of side-lined players through injury, with the Red Devils being without their first and second choice left-backs of Luke Shaw and Tyrell Malacia, causing severe issues in the defence.

In this time though, ten Hag has used the need for depth in the squad to rely on some of his young stars, seeing the rise of Alejandro Garnacho, Kobbie Mainoo and Rasmus Hojlund, the first two of which scored in the FA Cup Final, unexpectedly winning the match 2-1 over rivals and Premier League Champions Manchester City.

The success in the tournament meant that united secured their slot in the Europa League next season, granting them European football next year.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe was acting proactively around the poor performances by holding conversations with a number of other prospective managers including Roberto De Zerbi and Thomas Tuchel in case the club decided to part way with ten Hag.

Ultimately, the INEOS owner decided to stick with the Dutchman with 90mins reporting the rationale for this.

The report explains that Ratcliffe spoke to The Times CEO Summit, saying: “We kept Erik ten Hag because he’s a good coach. He did well at Ajax. The man in the street likes to think the coach is everything, and maybe it was in the days of Sir Alex Ferguson.”

He continued: “We’ve had a whole series of good coaches since then, and none have succeeded. The root of the problem is not the coach, it’s the environment around him. That’s what we’re now looking at. We have to address that environment.”

Similarly to this, an interview with Bloomberg saw Ratcliffe comment: “The coach isn’t the central issue at Manchester United. It’s a sports club. It needs to be competitive, it needs a degree of intensity, but with a supportive side to it because you are dealing with players who are relatively young. It hasn’t had that type of environment historically.”

The remodelling exercise carried out by Ratcliffe and his team at the top of the club, with Omar Berrada, Dan Ashworth and Jason Wilcox all joining the club to support the role that ten Hag will be playing going forwards.

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