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Man United retain faith in Ten Hag despite poor start to the season, perhaps for financial reasons

Manchester United have endured their worst start to a season in over six decades, but the hierarchy are not contemplating a change in the dugout, meaning Erik ten Hag’s job remains secure.

The Athletic reports that the club have acknowledged the need for improved performances and results, but they remain steadfast in their belief that Ten Hag can mastermind a swift turnaround.

Man United believe several challenges, including injuries and disciplinary issues involving several players, have contributed to the turbulence surrounding their campaign, evidently affecting on-field performances.

The current stance is that there are no immediate plans to dismiss Ten Hag despite speculation surrounding the Dutchman’s long-term future at Old Trafford.

However, The Athletic understands that a consensus on Ten Hag’s managerial abilities is not universal among those with connections to the club. 

Some believe that he has not entirely adapted to the Premier League’s unique demands, while others argue that his personality might not be the most suitable for the club’s present predicament.

The club’s hierarchy may be sticking with Ten Hag, but there is a growing feeling of unrest within the squad, with some players beginning to lose faith in him.

Ten Hag’s handling of the Jadon Sancho situation, where he publicly questioned the winger’s training standards, led to the player’s exclusion from the first-team squad and has sparked debate among players regarding the manager’s approach.

Eyebrows were also raised at Ten Hag’s decision to leave Raphael Varane out of the starting XI for the 3-0 defeat against Manchester City, with Jonny Evans selected for ‘tactical reasons’.

Inside the dressing room, there is a sense that Ten Hag’s charisma might be lacking, and he is not perceived to have close relationships with many players.

Harry Maguire, who has returned to the squad in recent weeks after being stripped of the captaincy, was bruised by efforts to get rid of him in the summer.

The players are reportedly beginning to have doubts about Ten Hag, but not all of them believe he has lost the dressing room.

With just under two years left on his three-year contract, the financial implications of dismissing Ten Hag would be substantial, including compensation for him and his coaching staff.

Man United’s financial situation is already under strain, as indicated by the 2022/23 financial results, which revealed a reduction in cash reserves and the need to adhere to financial fair play regulations. 

The prospect of further financial burden due to a managerial change doesn’t appeal to the hierarchy, perhaps contributing to their reluctance to part ways with Ten Hag.

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