Erik ten Hag explains why Man Utd aren't ready for success

  • Ten Hag has come under considerable criticism during his time at Old Trafford
  • The 54-year-old guided United to their first trophy in six years
  • Red Devils go head-to-head with Manchester City in FA Cup final on Saturday
Ten Hag will leave United with mixed emotions
Ten Hag will leave United with mixed emotions / Michael Steele/GettyImages

Erik ten Hag, expected to depart Manchester United after their upcoming FA Cup clash with Manchester City, has stressed the importance of supporters being realistic for the upcoming season and beyond.

The Red Devils endured a challenging Premier League 2023/24 campaign, winning 18, drawing six and losing 14 matches, resulting in their worst finish ever in modern top-flight football.

If they manage to defeat City at Wembley on Saturday, United will qualify for the Europa League. However, they are expected to embark on that journey under new management, as news of Ten Hag's likely exit broke earlier this week.

Arriving at Old Trafford in 2022 with a track record of domestic success at Ajax, many anticipated that Ten Hag would lead United to a Premier League title. However, that expectation hasn't materialised, and the Dutchman has recently given his reasons behind it.

"Manchester United won the league for the last time in 2013, 11 years ago. But still they expect us to win every game while competing at the top. This club is not ready for that," he said to Voetbal International.

Erik ten Hag
Ten Hag's tenure appears to be coming to a close / Charlie Crowhurst/GettyImages

"We were supposed to start building something and we made the first steps last year, but then you find out how big this club is and that nobody is ever satisfied.

"Within the club people were satisfied, but outside the club there was noise by saying I won only the Carabao Cup, lost the FA Cup final and came third [in my first season]."

"Well, then you have no sense of reality. Other clubs had a much better squad."

Ten Hag guided United to a 2–0 triumph over Newcastle United in the Carabao Cup final in February last year. This victory marked United's first trophy since 2017.

United also got to the 2023 FA Cup final under Ten Hag, eventually losing 2-1 to Manchester City.