Manchester United must stick with manager Erik ten Hag – sacking him would solve nothing, says Gary Neville | Football News

For some reason, I felt like that Bournemouth at home would be OK, but it doesn’t surprise anybody. They’re a real turn-off in terms of their inconsistency. They’re down more than up. Chelsea contributed the other night to their performance as they were that bad. Not many people probably felt comfortable saying it because you just feel like you’re constantly punching United. You do now think that if Chelsea hadn’t been quite as bad as they were, United would’ve lost that one as well. Against Bournemouth, they were terrible goals to give away. They were lackadaisical, open. There are very few words left that haven’t been said already about Manchester United. I fear for Erik ten Hag generally – not just because of this week. [Facing] Bayern Munich and Liverpool should take care of itself. What will happen, will happen. A cycle is repeating itself again: manager has a half-decent season, he gets a lot of power. There’s no control above him to say ‘no’ when he wants players, there’s no strength of leadership, a manager then takes over and signs his own players that he favours. Image: Manchester United have now lost more Premier League home games since Sir Alex Ferguson retired (35) than they did during his 21 seasons in charge of the club (34) We’ve seen it with Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. But coaches and managers aren’t the heads of recruitment. They lean towards certain players they may have worked with before, and they try to merge them into a team with players that another manager has signed. The players then don’t look like they fit together, the atmosphere becomes a bit toxic, there’s a fall-out or two, then the manager starts to come under a bit of pressure. And then usually, they get sacked. I’ve been here so many times over the past six, seven, eight years – and it’s happening again before our eyes. ‘Idea of sacking Ten Hag an absolute nonsense’ I hope that somehow Erik ten Hag can turn it around this season and he can improve what’s happening at the moment, or else he will be in trouble as it’s inevitable. We’ve seen it with Ole, Jose and Louis van Gaal. But there’s no way they should change Ten Hag this season. This idea of sacking him is an absolute nonsense. I wouldn’t be in favour of that anyway. “There’s a lack of leadership and structure above him. I know people say, ‘you can’t blame the Glazers’ – yes, you can! Because it’s 10 years of failure and miserable recruitment. Image: Marcus Rashford’s form has fallen off a cliff It comes down to the fact that they’ve not got a sporting director, a proper head of recruitment in place. That’s why this happens. It’s because ultimately managers and coaches look above them and see they haven’t got anyone to help them so they might as well try to do it themselves. It all comes down to leadership. If it happened once, you might think ‘fair enough’ but this has happened five times in 10 years. Sir Jim Ratcliffe is going to have to sort this out. You wonder how he is going to be able to pull them out of it. That’s the concern I have. What we need is a new change of structure at the top which will happen in the next few weeks. Hopefully that will change the way the sporting project is looked at because you can’t come in and leave everything as it is. Maybe, with some sort of leadership and structure at the club, United will then have the ability to cope with the other clubs who recruit and do business a lot better. The Soccer Saturday panel discuss Manchester United’s 3-0 loss to Bournemouth and look into what is going wrong for Erik Ten Hag’s side At the moment we’re biding our time until the new ownership starts. I’ve said it before, people say you can’t blame the Glazers for this or that, you can. You absolutely put the lack of success in a sporting sense down to the owners. They haven’t got a sporting director, someone strong enough to say no to a manager. When they get a little bit of success, like Ten Hag last year or the other managers over the last four, five times, when they get a little bit of power and take over recruitment and start signing players and start getting bigger than they should do. Every other club has a really competent sporting department and it is down to the Glazers that they’ve not had a competent sporting department for 10 years to actually provide the leadership, guidance and strength to make sure the recruitment is spot on. Sky Sports’ Ben Ransom is joined by Tyrone Marshall from the Manchester Evening News to analyse Manchester United’s 3-0 defeat to Bournemouth and what Erik Ten Hag needs to do next to battle for a top four position It’s the hardest job in football getting recruitment precise. But if you get it wrong £300m-£400m at a time, three or four times in 10 years, that is complete, ultimate failure and that’s down to the owners for not dealing with that. And that’s why Jim Ratcliffe is going to come in and all the reports say he’s going to take over the sporting department. Why do you think the Glazer family are going to allow someone to come in, they’re still the majority shareholders, and let someone else take over the most important aspect of a football club, which is football? Because they know they can’t do it. Yes, Erik ten Hag should be doing better. On Saturday, [Anthony] Martial played up front, which was bizarre. The style of play isn’t there and some of the players need to do a lot better. Some of the performances, individually and collectively, are shambolic. ‘Liverpool players won’t think ‘this is “easy pickings”‘ The Gary Neville podcast discusses the problems at Manchester United and how the club is crying out for a competent sporting structure to deal effectively with recruitment That result on Saturday was a disgrace. Well done to Bournemouth but it should not happen. However, the continued 10 years of failure is down to them. Ultimately, we need to get to a point where there is a competent sporting structure put in place that gives Manchester United a chance to operate on the same level as the other clubs in this league. Next Sunday, if you’re a United fan, you’ve got a feeling you’re going to get beat up and done in – properly – because of 7-0 last year and the way they’re playing at the moment. It doesn’t always work out like that and I’m sure Jurgen Klopp and the Liverpool players won’t be sat there thinking, ‘this is easy pickings’. The thing Manchester United have to fear the most is that Liverpool are a professional bunch. This Manchester United team, my concern is they haven’t got it in them to surprise us. Manchester United head coach Erik ten Hag speaks following his side’s 3-0 loss to Bournemouth and what he believes needs to happen to get the team back to consistent form They haven’t got the leadership, the quality, to able to go to Anfield. That is a bearpit for a United player. I don’t care whether you’re a championship-winning team or a team that’s sixth, seventh, eighth in the league, it can be a bearpit and it can swallow you up. If those players don’t stand up and stick that chest out next week, and they don’t take the ball and show courage, it will eat you alive. That’s what they’ve got to prepare for this week. But before that, they’ve got the minor and very small task of Bayern Munich in the Champions League, so it’s a tough week for them. But it shouldn’t be a tough week. These should be the weeks that a Manchester United player should dream of. Bayern Munich, Liverpool away – but it’s a week that becomes fearful and makes you anxious. That’s just the state of the club in general. It’s financially in a mess, even from an FFP and debt point of view, and it needs dealing with properly. That can only happen with a change of ownership.

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