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Rio Ferdinand calls for Erik ten Hag to change something at Manchester United he’s so far refused



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Credit: YouTube / Vibe with Five

Former United captain Rio Ferdinand has said that if Erik ten Hag changed his play style to account for injuries, then the Dutchman would be guaranteed to stay at Old Trafford next season.

Erik ten Hag’s position at United has been under scrutiny since the arrival of Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS as the new minority owners of the club, and the near self-destructive performance against Coventry City in the FA Cup semi-final certainly hasn’t helped.

Narrowly beating the Championship side on penalties after controlling the game up until the 71st minute, many see this performance at Wembley as the potential final nail in the coffin for Ten Hag’s tenure at Old Trafford.

United’s new technical director, Jason Wilcox, was in attendance on Sunday. According to reports, he has been tasked with auditing the Dutchman’s credentials, dressing room relations, strengths, and weaknesses to help INEOS decide if he is still the man in charge next season.

Many top managerial names have been linked to taking over The Reds, including former Chelsea Boss Thomas Tuchel and Brighton’s Roberto De Zerbi.

Rio Ferdinand believes that Ten Hag’s reluctance to change how his team plays could be the reason for his sacking. Like many clubs, United have been plagued with injuries this season which resulted in Casemiro having to fill in at centre-back at the weekend alongside Harry Maguire as no other defenders were fit.

Speaking on his YouTube channel Vibe with Five, the former United captain said that the manager should have played into this injury crisis to get the fans and the media on his side.

“If he set up to become a counter-attacking team, and said ‘we’ve got too many injuries and can’t play any other way’, boom, he probably would have been guaranteed his job next year on that basis.

The ex-Red then goes on to highlight the advantages of a more solid and defensively sound tactic, saying: “We wouldn’t have been as open, wouldn’t have conceded as many shots, and wouldn’t have lost as many games, I’m sure, but it’s difficult.”

Ten Hag has always stuck to his guns and his philosophy of how he wants to play football, which is admirable. However, the sport is about results, and sometimes, you have to play the cards you are dealt to survive.

If United allow the game to be open against Manchester City in the final, the ribbons on the trophy will likely be light blue instead of red.