- Alex Iwobi’s 97th-minute goal condemned United to their tenth league defeat of the season
- The United team usually report for warm-ups and video analysis the day after games.
- Manchester United’s Sir Jim Ratcliffe can rebuild the stadium, build a museum… but they should pay for it – Podcast Everything is beginning
Several Manchester United players reportedly stunned the coaching staff by requesting the day off after Saturday’s dismal home defeat to Fulham.
Erik ten Hag’s side suffered their 10th Premier League defeat of the season after Alex Iwobi’s 97th-minute goal at Old Trafford.
The result was a brutal reminder of United’s shortcomings having won five consecutive games in the league and FA Cup.
According The GuardianSeveral players complained to the coaching staff that they wanted to rest on Sunday after the Fulham defeat.
Players usually report the day after each game for warm-ups and video analysis. The request was rejected and the players were reminded of their commitments and it is believed that Ten Hag did not know this.
Manchester United suffered another miserable defeat as Fulham won 2-1 at Old Trafford.
The result increased the pressure on coach Erik ten Hag and it was learned that some players asked for Sunday off after the defeat.
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Ten Hag’s future as United boss looks increasingly uncertain amid reports that new owners Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Ineos are considering potential replacements.
In a season of frustration and inconsistency, United crashed out of the Champions League (and Europe altogether) after a terrible group stage.
They suffered a crushing 3-0 home defeat to Newcastle United as their Carabao Cup defense ended early and are currently eight points behind Aston Villa, who sit fourth in the league table.
While qualification for next season’s Champions League remains possible (and fifth place is probably enough given the expansion to 36 teams), it is by no means guaranteed given United’s form.
Ten Hag could potentially save themselves by winning the FA Cup as United head to Nottingham Forest in the fifth round on Wednesday.
Ratcliffe, who paid £1.3bn for a 27.7 per cent stake in United and control of football operations, has wasted no time in making changes behind the scenes.
Omar Berrada was poached from rivals Manchester City to become the club’s new chief executive and it was decided to hire Newcastle United’s Dan Ashworth as sporting director.
The upheaval means Ten Hag’s work is also under scrutiny, with the Manchester Evening News reporting that Ineos is “not completely convinced” by Ten Hag.
Fulham’s defeat was United’s tenth defeat in the Premier League alone this season.
In comments last week, Ten Hag was confident of retaining Ratcliffe’s backing after the billionaire refused to discuss his future during interviews following the completion of his £1.3bn investment.
Instead, Ratcliffe had suggested that a succession of failed management appointments since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013 was an indication that the “environment” was to blame.
“We have a lot of conversations, we are very aligned, we have the same ambition, we are very aligned in the process.” said Ten Hag before Fulham’s defeat on Friday. ‘We talk a lot.
‘We are very aligned. It totally fits with the ambitions I have and those I had when I joined. I’m 19 months in and I see that we are going in the right direction.
Sir Jim Ratcliffe has already started making big changes to key positions at the club following his investment
‘We have had setbacks in the second season but you see the team coming. It is important to have fit players but also to build the squad. We will be strong and we will be even stronger when we add even more qualities to this team.”
The 54-year-old admitted that qualification for the Champions League this season will be vital to ensuring he retains the support he believes he enjoys.
United’s eighth home defeat this season, one shy of their single-season record, did little to help them achieve that goal.