With an FA Cup final at Wembley on the horizon, Manchester United have won the Carabao Cup since former Ajax manager Erik ten Hag was named manager a year ago.
According to Richard Keys, Erik ten Hag has not made Manchester United ‘any better’ than his predecessors from the previous ten years.
Since legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson retired in May 2013, United have gone through a difficult period. As United’s manager during that time, David Moyes, Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, and Ralf Rangnick have all failed to win the Premier League title.
Ten Hag has had a successful first season in charge since being hired by the Red Devils a year ago, and the team is on track to make the Champions League. Although Old Trafford supporters have praised the Dutchman for his work there, TV host Keys isn’t yet persuaded.
Keys said to beIN Sports, “I just don’t share the general hysteria about Manchester United right now. They aren’t any better, in my opinion, than they have been since Fergie left.”
United had a sixth-place finish in the Premier League last year, ending a five-year streak without winning a trophy. With an FA Cup final scheduled for June 3 against Manchester City, Ten Hag has already ended that streak by winning the Carabao Cup.
However, Keys thinks United isn’t any better than when they placed second in the Premier League under Solskjaer two years ago. He also emphasized Van Gaal and Mourinho’s accomplishments, who each won trophies while playing for Old Trafford.
Keys continued, “I think they’ve been better at different times. “I believe they were better under Mourinho, better under Van Gaal, and perhaps even better under Solskjaer. As a result, I simply disagree with the hysteria that Ten Hag has stirred up and transformed them into what they were.”
Despite not being “convinced” that Ten Hag is the best manager for United, Keys’ beIN Sports coworker Andy Gray believes they are in a better position to “move forward.”
The primary obstacle for Ten Hag in the title race of the upcoming season will be to stop teams like Man City and Arsenal. After winning 10 straight games in the Premier League, City is four points ahead of a young Arsenal team in the standings.
Keys is not the only critic who has called into question Ten Hag’s record with United. Robbie Fowler, a columnist for Mirror Football, stated last month: “They really are not that much better off than they were under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Before they can compete with City, they have a long way to go.”
Fowler, like Gray, nonetheless, thinks United can advance now that the groundwork has been laid. “The club has been crying out for serious foundations for years, and now they have a manager who can deliver them,” he continued.
He also brought about a lack of a work ethic and a lack of team spirit, and that made a big difference. But before taking on the elite of Europe, perhaps Ten Hag needs another summer of construction.”