Rene Meulensteen admits Erik ten Hag 'isn't the right man to lead Man Utd forward'

Rene Meulensteen spent six years on sir Alex Ferguson's coaching staff.
Rene Meulensteen spent six years as a first-team coach under Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United -Credit:ANDREW YATES/AFP via Getty Images

Erik ten Hag isn't the right man to lead Manchester United - according to ex-United coach Rene Meulensteen.

In his second season with the club, it's been a disappointing campaign for the 13-time Premier League champions, who sit eighth in the table and are facing an uphill task to qualify for Europe for next season.

While they still could secure silverware with the FA Cup final against Manchester City later this month, United have suffered 18 defeats in all competitions and are coming off a 4-0 defeat at the hands of Crystal Palace last week.

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With Ten Hag's contract running out next summer, much has been made over his future in Manchester given the persistent teething issues with the team's style of play. United appeared to have taken a step forward under the Dutchman last season but seem to have regressed this term.

According to Meulensteen, who spent six years at the club as a first-team coach under Sir Alex Ferguson, he's come to the conclusion that United's consistent struggles means that his compatriot is not the right man for the job.

"The trend with Manchester United is they have regressed, and that is the worrying thing," the 60-year-old said exclusively to Manchester Evening News, via William Hill.

"There's no coming away from it because the numbers are backing that up. As simple as that. You look at the Champions League campaign, you look at their Premier League campaign, 13 losses, a goal difference of minus three. They're in 8th position in the Premier League.

Erik ten Hag
Ten Hag is under mounting pressure to keep his job following a disappointing second season with Man United -Credit:Getty Images

"They're not guaranteed to get into Europe. A lot of signs are they are not moving in the right direction. If you analyse those trends, you would obviously say, Erik ten Hag probably isn’t the right man to lead Manchester United forward."

The former Fulham boss spoke of the various changes in United's hierarchy and what it could mean for Ten Hag who he remarked is "not a bad manager" due to his prior exploits with Ajax.

"Now, obviously, we also know all the changes have been taking place behind the scenes with Jim Radcliffe coming in, Sir David Brailsford as well there, Barretta, they come in, Wilcox, maybe then Ashworth. So, there's a lot of happening behind the scenes," Meulensteen remarked.

"And the most important person to answer that question if Erik ten Hag is the right man is those I have mentioned. And I'm sure that those people must have had conversations with Erik ten Hag already, with staff, with players, to make a fair judgement of that, because he is not a bad coach, and I'm sure he's not a bad manager because his previous record with Ajax has proven that."