Manchester United has three serious misgivings about Erik ten Hag, which may help other contenders in the club’s high-profile managerial search. United spoke with Ten Hag on Monday as part of their search for a permanent manager for next season, and intriguing information has emerged since then.
The Red Devils will choose their fifth permanent manager since Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure in 2013. However, there is a general belief within the club that this move is the correct one after falling significantly behind rivals in the nine years since Ferguson’s retirement.
United’s new CEO, Richard Arnold, has largely delegated the club’s football operations to “football people.” The search is being led by football director John Murtough, who is assisted by technical director Darren Fletcher and current temporary manager Ralf Rangnick.
And, in the aftermath of Ten Hag’s interview earlier this week, some reports claimed he performed admirably, impressing United with his vision for the future and ability to communicate in English. However, the club is claimed to have reservations about the 52-year-aptitude old’s for one of the sport’s most important posts.
According to Jeremy Cross, while Ten Hag excelled during negotiations, United remain skeptical of his credentials due to three factors. There are concerns that the Dutchman will not be a prominent enough persona to manage such a high-pressure challenge at such a prestigious club.
Arnold hopes to begin his term as United’s top dog by appointing the club’s most popular manager. However, there are concerns that supporters may not accept a manager whom Daniel Levy did not think suitable for Tottenham Hotspur last summer.
Ten Hag interviewed for the Tottenham Hotspur position after Jose Mourinho was fired, but Levy passed him up in favor of Nuno Espirito Santo. And it remains to be seen if United shares Spurs’ belief that he might not have the qualities to bring the club to the peak of English and European football.
Other candidates will be questioned before the club makes a decision, with Mauricio Pochettino, Julen Lopetegui, and Luis Enrique on the known shortlist. Thomas Tuchel is also being seriously considered’ as Chelsea’s financial situation becomes precarious with the departure of Roman Abramovich.
But Pochettino has something Ten Hag and the other names in the mix don’t. He has been a long-term ally of Sir Alex Ferguson, probably the greatest manager in the history of the game, and has the United legend’s support. Although it’s unclear how much influence Scot presently has behind the scenes at the club.