Soccer-Manchester United’s woes leave Ten Hag exposed after humbling Cup defeat

By Lori Ewing

MANCHESTER, England (Reuters) – Manchester United’s beleaguered manager Erik ten Hag is coming under even more pressure after his lacklustre side were knocked out of the League Cup by Newcastle United at Old Trafford on Wednesday with the media headlines highlighting their plight.

“Ten Hag’s total humiliation, United manager facing serious questions after cup horror show” was The Daily Telegraph’s headline. The Star chimed in with: “Hag ‘N Daze, Erik’s sorry troops are given another big lickin'”

Three days after United’s dispiriting 3-0 home defeat by Manchester City, the misery continued for Ten Hag’s embattled side when they were humbled by the same scoreline in the League Cup fourth round and booed off the pitch at the final whistle.

Newcastle’s Miguel Almiron, Lewis Hall and Joe Willock scored for Eddie Howe’s visiting Magpies to “turn the heat on Ten Hag’s shambolic Reds,” wrote the Daily Express.

The Daily Mail headline read: “Writing’s On The Wall, Ten Hag fights for his future as abysmal United crash out of Cup.”

England’s most storied team have stumbled to one of the worst starts in their history, losing five of their first 10 home games in all competitions for the first time since 1930-31.

Wednesday marked the first time they have lost successive games at Old Trafford by three goals or more since October 1962.

Their elimination was particularly humbling since the League Cup is the one trophy Ten Hag has hoisted in his United tenure when they beat Newcastle 2-0 in last season’s Wembley final.

However, the 53-year-old Dutchman has vowed to fight on.

“I understand when the results are not there it is logical they are questioning that,” he told reporters on Wednesday. “But I am confident I can do it. At this moment we are in a bad place and I take responsibility for it.

“But I am a fighter. I see it as a challenge.”

Ten Hag left Ajax Amsterdam to join United in April 2022, signing a three-year deal with the option of an extra year. How long he stays in the job will depend on his ability to quickly turn United’s fortunes around starting at Fulham on Saturday.

(Reporting by Lori Ewing; Editing by Ken Ferris)


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