Erik ten Hag should know his Manchester United fate after seeing Sir Jim Ratcliffe on the big screen

The Coventry fans were enjoying a lusty rendition of "3-0 and you f**ked it up" when they had to break off to see if their team could turn a remarkable comeback into what might have been the greatest of all time. After Haji Wright's penalty had made it 3-3, Ellis Simms twice threatened to finish the job before full-time.

He didn't and United limped into extra-time. A chorus of boos rained down from the United end when the whistle blew. Many of those fans would have been tapping along to the opposite side of Wembley singing "you're getting sacked in the morning" a few minutes earlier.

It might not be that swift, but let's not beat around the bush any longer. The last rites were administered to the Erik ten Hag era in those 20 minutes when United went from 3-0 up against a Championship side to drawing 3-3 and clinging on. It's over. He knows it. The fans know it. Ineos know it.

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There were 10 internationals on that pitch when Coventry pulled their first goal back. You would never have guessed it. What followed was one of the most spineless collapses Wembley has seen. United's most familiar problems came flooding back. They take too long to recover from a blow and they didn't clear the heads until they gathered - shellshocked, stunned and embarrassed - for the start of extra time.

But so many of these failings are tactical as well. For 70 minutes Coventry had barely been in the game. All of a sudden gaps started to appear in the defence and the midfield was missing in action once more, regularly caught ahead of the ball even as they sought to protect a lead. There is a startling lack of game management in this side.

The irony is that for most of the afternoon it had looked like being one of Ten Hag's best of the season. One of his greatest strengths in his first season was his in-game management. Whether it was decisive and influential substitutions or changes of system, he had the Midas touch.

That has deserted him this season but at Wembley, it briefly returned. United hadn't capitalised on their bright start midway through the half when play was paused ahead of a free-kick. Ten Hag called over Diogo Dalot and relaid a message. Ten seconds later Dalot busted a gut to get on the overlap as the attack built down the right and his low cross was perfect for Scott McTominay to tap home.

As soon as the ball hit the back of the net Dalot turned to Ten Hag and pointed in the direction of the technical area. His run had come from the central positions he regularly takes up when United are in possession and he went completely untracked. A few minutes later, exactly the same thing happened.

It had been as comfortable a half as United had enjoyed in months, but if there was going to be a regret it was that they weren't in a stronger position. With a few minutes to the break, Ten Hag swapped Alejandro Garnacho and Marcus Rashford.

The next time they attacked down the right, Dalot stayed wide and Rashford made the run inside, forcing Bradley Collins into a sharp save. Having seen Garnacho go down the outside for 40 minutes, Rashford's run caught Coventry by surprise and he had space in the box. From the corner, Harry Maguire doubled the lead and United were cruising at Wembley and Ten Hag was seemingly enjoying one of his best days of the season.

His positional changes regularly led to goals last season, usually via moving Rashford into the middle, but there were times when he would make an attacking change which would result in three players switching positions. Ten Hag explained this as a move to pose new problems, such as swapping a direct winger for someone who offered more control, like Bruno Fernandes.

Switching Garnacho and Rashford for a short period worked brilliantly at Wembley. It was a reminder of what Ten Hag can bring to the role and the influence he can have. Unfortunately, it hasn't been seen enough this season and it won't be enough to save him.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe dashed from the finish line of the London Marathon to get to Wembley, but he looked more pained watching this from the directors' box than tapping out 26.2 miles in his trainers. His expression gave the game away.

Ratcliffe was joined in the comfy seats by Joel and Avram Glazer, in attendance at the same game for the first time in five years. None of them were sitting comfortably as United wrote another chapter into their horror story in 2023/24.