Criticism of Erik ten Hag is growing following Manchester United's losses to Brighton & Hove Albion (1-0) and West Ham United (1-0). While winning the EFL Cup in February was the first trophy the club had won in six years, according to football presenter Richard Keys, it's not enough. "He MUST bring Champions League football."
There's still a lot at stake for United. Ten Hag's team will play Manchester City for the FA Cup in June and the Premier League's coveted fourth spot can still be secured. United is one point ahead of Liverpool, with one less game played. In total, there are still four league matches to be played. After a summer that saw the club spending a lot of money, Keys believes that securing fourth place is the least the Dutch manager should be able to accomplish.
"Ten Hag spent a record-breaking 250 million euros last summer, more than United has ever spent in one transfer window. And it got them exactly nowhere," Keys writes in a column on his own website. "He has run out of excuses. You can only blame your players so many times for being 'unprofessional' or for not following the game plan. That talk gets a little weak in the locker room after a while."
"He MUST bring Champions League football to United," Keys continues. "Nothing else will do. If he can achieve that, he'll secure another season as United's manager. If not, just winning the EFL Cup this season isn't enough. There was a time when United fans were ashamed to win that trophy. Times have changed."
Keys compares the current United to previous years and comes to a shocking conclusion. "All I hear around me is that United is much better than in recent years, but I don't see it. Better than Solskjaer, when he finished second? Better than Van Gaal, who won the FA Cup? Not as far as I'm concerned - and I said some pretty terrible things about them when they were at the helm. Are they better than under Mourinho, who won two trophies and guided United to second place? No. No, they're not."
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