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Three possible managers listed as replacements for Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag



Three possible managers listed as replacements for Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag

Sports Mole looks at three possible replacements for Erik ten Hag this summer, with the Dutchman in danger of losing his job as Manchester United boss.

Erik ten Hag could lose his job as Manchester United head coach this summer, even if he is able to lead the 20-time English champions to a win in the FA Cup final against Manchester City next month.

Despite the speculation, it is understood that the club are currently planning for Ten Hag to remain in charge, but the situation will likely change if the team struggle in the closing stages of the 2023-24 campaign.

A top-four spot in the Premier League table now looks beyond reach, sitting 16 points behind fourth-placed Aston Villa, so a position in next season’s Champions League is highly unlikely.

Man United’s new minority shareholder Sir Jim Ratcliffe must decide, along with his team, whether Ten Hag is the right manager to lead the team under the new structure.

However, with a change more than possible, Sports Mole takes a look at the three current favourites to replace the Dutchman at the helm this summer.

Gareth Southgate (England)

The links with Southgate are not dissipating, with the current England head coach viewed as the favourite to replace Ten Hag, should a change occur at the end of the season.

The 53-year-old’s work for England should be commended, having led the Three Lions to the semi-finals of the 2018 World Cup and final of Euro 2020, while the national team are being tipped to challenge for the Euro 2024 crown.

Southgate has not been in charge of a club team since 2009, though, managing Middlesbrough for three years, and his appointment would be a risk due to his lack of experience at club level.

The England manager has been credited with improving the team spirit in the England camp, and there is no question that he is well-liked by his players, but there remain serious question marks over his ability to deliver major trophies and his in-game decision-making skills.

Southgate’s contract with the Three Lions is due to expire at the end of December, and he could well move on after this summer’s European Championship, with a switch to Old Trafford certainly a possibility.

Graham Potter (out of work since April 2023)

Potter’s impressive work for Ostersunds FK, Swansea City and Brighton & Hove Albion led to him becoming the Chelsea manager in September 2022, but he struggled to make his mark at Stamford Bridge.

The 48-year-old took charge of 31 matches for the Blues, boasting a record of 12 wins, eight draws and 11 defeats, and he has been unemployed since leaving the capital outfit in April 2023.

Potter was one of the most highly-regarded managers in England due to his strong work at Swansea and Brighton, but his reputation was somewhat damaged by his spell at Chelsea.

Ratcliffe is believed to have already held a meeting with Potter, who would surely jump at the chance to become Man United’s new boss, even taking into account the size of the job at Old Trafford.

There are risks for him, though, as another poor spell and eventual sacking would leave him in a difficult spot in his career, and Man United really cannot afford to get another appointment wrong.

Like Southgate, Potter has not won a major trophy at managerial level, but the same cannot be said for the third name on this particular list.

Thomas Tuchel (Bayern Munich manager)

Tuchel is seemingly emerging as a genuine option for Man United, with the 50-year-old preparing to leave Bayern at the end of the 2023-24 campaign.

The Munich giants have fallen short in the Bundesliga this season due to the brilliance of Bayer Leverkusen, but Tuchel could deliver the Champions League trophy to Allianz Arena before leaving this summer.

Tuchel started his managerial career at Augsburg and has since taken charge of Mainz 05, Borussia Dortmund, Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and Bayern.

The experienced manager won the German Cup at Dortmund, six trophies at PSG, including two Ligue 1 titles, while he delivered the Champions League, UEFA Super Cup and Club World Cup to Chelsea.

Tuchel also won the Bundesliga last season, and he certainly knows what it takes to get teams over the line, which is a quality that makes him a prime candidate for the Man United job.

His relatively short time at each club since leaving Mainz will be a concern, though, as Ratcliffe is looking for a long-term option, and he is currently behind Southgate and Potter in the pecking order.







Manchester United qualifies for FA cup finals for the first time after 10 years after tough fight Coventry City today





Manchester United qualifies for FA cup finals for the first time after 10 years after tough fight Coventry City today





Coventry fight back from 3-0 down but lose to Man Utd in shoot-out in FA Cup semi-final – reaction Updated 1 minute ago











Ben Sheaf reacts after hitting his penalty over the crossbar


















Chosen by us to get you up to speed at a glance





120 mins: 3-3





Utter drama in dying seconds as Torp’s ‘winner’ chalked off by VAR for offside


95 mins: 3-3


GOAL: Remarkable scenes as Wright scores from the spot to send Coventry fans wild


79 mins: 2-3


GOAL: O’Hare’s shot takes wicked deflection to loop over Onana and breathe life into this match


58 mins: 0-3


GOAL: Watch as Fernandes punishes Coventry to all but end their hopes of making the final


46 mins: 0-2


GOAL: Watch as poor marking allows Maguire to head United two clear









Greg Wilcox





21 April 2024 • 6:36pm




United humiliated in victory


That will be the narrative from this match. They’ve reached the FA Cup final but will feel despondent tonight.





Roy Keane is, as per stereo type, scathing, but understandably so…





“Every time I see this United team they’re hard to like…At 3-0 up you do not give up that lead to a Championship team.”







That was one of the most remarkable matches you’ll see


When Hojlund scored that penalty few, if any, United players really celebrated. It’s not hard to see why. Coventry humiliated them from the 71st minute. They came back from 3-0 down, forced extra-time, had the better chances in extra-time and thought they’d won it through Torp. But for the narrowest of offsides, Manchester United would have been dumped out in spectacular fashion.









Hojlund buries his penalty and United will face City in the final.















— ITV Football (@itvfootball) April 21, 2024




Sheaf misses, advantage United


Man Utd 3 Coventry 2





Onana gets another yellow card for time wasting (a la Martinez) But it may be worth it as Sheaf fires over the bar, oh dear!







Fernandes puts United up in the shootout


Man Utd 3 Coventry 2





Collins goes early and Fernandes slots the ball the other way.







Good save from Onana


Man Utd 2 Coventry 2





Back to parity as O’Hare goes to Onana’s right, but the United keeper guesses the right way.







Eriksen scores for United – all square


Man Utd 2 Coventry 2





Eriksen slots his spotkick into the bottom left corner.







Torp once again finds the back of the net


Man Utd 1 Coventry 2





Torp, who thought he’d won the match a few moments ago, piles the ball right into the top corner – so impressive.







No mistake from Dalot


Man Utd 1 Coventry 1





Dalot makes no mistake going low to Collins’ right.







Coventry lead the penalty shootout


Man Utd 0 Coventry 1





Wright scores his second penalty of the match…sending Onana the wrong way







Saved by Collins!


Man Utd 0 Coventry 0





Casemiro’s shot is saved by Collins. That was poor (Bernardo Silva like) easy stop for the Coventry keeper. Too casual from the Brazilian.







United to take the first penalty


Casemiro, it appears will take it.







What a dramatic finish


When Torp sidefooted into the far corner of the net it seemed as though Coventry had completed one of the most remarkable comebacks you’ll ever see. Three down in the 71st minutes to A VAR check away from a memorable 4-3 win.





Alas, it’s now down to penalties…







Match goes to penalties!


Coventry don’t have to deal with VAR in the Championship. I suspect they, like many fans across the country, are not big fans…









Coventry 3 Man Utd 3





Oh dear, VAR has intervened and there was an offside before the cross came in for Torp. It’s as you were. Wright., who crossed the ball for Torp, was only slightly offside, as in by about two cms.





Such, such drama.















CAN YOU BELIEVE THIS GAME?!#ITVFootball | #FACup | @Coventry_city





— ITV Football (@itvfootball) April 21, 2024






Coventry 4 Man Utd 3





WOW, WOW, WOW. Torp has won it for Coventry!





HANG ON… there is a VAR check…







120 mins: Coventry 3 Man Utd 3


Eriksen whips in a cross from the left that just evade Hojlund. There will be one minute of added time.







119 mins: Coventry 3 Man Utd 3


Remember Coventry were 3-0 down in the 71st minute. They’re one minute away from penalties…whatever happens, it’s been a superb effort.







117 mins: Coventry 3 Man Utd 3


United attack ends with a volley from Antony that is high, wide and not so handsome…





Three minutes from penalties…







114 mins: Coventry 3 Man Utd 3


Simms hits the bar – WOW, Coventry were millimetres away from going 4-3 up…the Coventry striker shoot on the turn form just outside the six-yard box and rattles the crossbar…it looks as though Onana got a touch on it, match-saving save? For now it is…







113 mins: Coventry 3 Man Utd 3


An Antony shot is blocked, Diallo follows up with another attempt that is well wide. Coventry did well to get the bodies back in the box…





Penalties are six minutes way, unless there’s another goal…







111 mins: Coventry 3 Man Utd 3


Brilliant break again from Coventry that starts with a great tackle on Fernandes on the edge of their own box. They break at pace and find Wright who is free and driving into the box when he shoots with his left. Alas, his shot his dragged just wide…he has so much time and should have at least made Onana make a save…





Very nervous times these for United…







110 mins: Coventry 3 Man Utd 3


Big opportunity for Coventry as they attack down the right with Simms. The striker comes inside and makes the wrong pass when he had options in the box and United clear the danger.







109 mins: Coventry 3 Man Utd 3


Hojlund has a shot that’s blocked, when a man was spare out right, the ball then breaks for Coventry who earn a corner from the counter.





Can they create something from this? ‘Nope’ is the long and short of it as United beat Bobby Thomas to the ball at the back post.







107 mins: Coventry 3 Man Utd 3


Maguire, of all people, makes a foray into the Coventry box, he beats his man before a shot from an acute angle forces the save from Collins.





From the resulting corner, United twice put the ball in the box, the second time of which earns them another corner.





This this time Coventry clear the initial deliver and breathe a sigh of relief.







105 mins: Coventry 3 Man Utd 3


Tavares makes way for Godden for Coventry.





Fifteen minutes for the United players to save Ten Hag’s job?







HALF-TIME (extra-time): Coventry 3 Man Utd 3


Some very tired legs out there at the moment. Is the fear of losing now greater than the hope of winning?







103 mins: Coventry 3 Man Utd 3


The pace of the match has understandably dropped…as I type that Coventry up the pace and get the ball in the box, again United look tentative as Wright gets in a shot that is well blocked. There are a few players out their suffering from cramp, something quite a few people in London have suffered from today, what with the marathon taking place.







100 mins: Coventry 3 Man Utd 3


Sheaf creates space on the hinterland of the United box, he succeeds and tries his luck with a curling shot that doesn’t have the bend to beat Onana.





There are a lot of tired bodies out there at the moment.







98 mins: Coventry 3 Man Utd 3


Diallo gets the ball in space but runs down a cul-de-sac…this match is, to state the obvious, very much on a knife edge. A penny for Ten Hag’s thoughts.







96 mins: Coventry 3 Man Utd 3


Casemiro launches a long ball that finds the head of Fernandes, the ball dribbling over the byline.







94 mins: Coventry 3 Man Utd 3


Fernandes hits a venomous shot from outside the area that smacks the crossbar. Coventry then counter at pace as Wright is taken to the cleaners by Wright who powers into the box but the ball runs away from him. This is no longer a cagey opening to extra-time…










— ITV Football (@itvfootball) April 21, 2024




92 mins: Coventry 3 Man Utd 3


Cagey opening to extra-time, how frazzled are United, so composed until that Coventry opener?







90 mins: Coventry 3 Man Utd 3


Thirty minutes for the United players to save Ten Hag’s job?







Roy Keane is speechless in the ITV studio


Unheard of…







Poor indictment of United





Boos ring out from the Manchester United end as the referee Robert Jones blows the full time whistle and little wonder. As brilliant as Coventry City have been that is some indictment of a big Premier League club to allow them to come back from 3-0 down to force extra-time.







‘Can I get back in?’





A sizeable number of Coventry City fans streamed through the exits after Bruno Fernandes scored Manchester United’s third. How many of them, having made an early dash for the Jubilee Line, are tempted to challenge Wembley’s strict re-admission policy? Those who have stayed are gleefully chanting “You’re getting sacked in the morning” for the benefit of Erik ten Hag.







Moving into extra-time: Coventry 3 Man Utd 3


What a comeback. At 3-0 down with only 19 minutes left, this match was all over…or so we thought…counting chickens before they’ve hatched and all that,. It was a remarkable comeback from the Championship side who once they started throwing balls into the box looked dangerous and caused United a lot of problems.





It’s anyone’s game now.







98 mins: Coventry 3 Man Utd 3











One last Untied attack sees Fernandes get to the byline and fire in a low cross that Collins does well to get a foot to…







97 mins: Coventry 3 Man Utd 3


Change for United, Rashfor limps off and Diallo comes on…this game is headed for extra-time.







United scrambled





United seem utterly scrambled here. Given a precious platform to counter-attack, Rasmus Hojlund entirely forgets to shoot. Only the superb reflexes of Andre Onana, who produced an outrageous save from Andre Torp, is keeping his team’s lead intact. How have they made such hard work of a 3-0 lead over Coventry? Chaos is now their default setting.









Coventry 3 Man Utd 3





WOW, Wright is the coolest man at Wembley as he sends Onana the wrong way…









Great work from Torp again on the left before the ball is delivered to the back post. Binks volleys it back in and it hits Wan-Bissaka’s right arm. The ref points to the spot and, after a while, VAR agrees. That looks a bit harsh on the United defender, not sure where he was supposed to put his arm there…















— ITV Football (@itvfootball) April 21, 2024




91 mins: Coventry 2 Man Utd 3


Another Coventry chance, they attack down the right through Tavares whose low cross is cleared by the United defence. Coventry are looking the more likely to score at the moment…







89 mins: Coventry 2 Man Utd 3


There will be at least six minutes of added time…







87 mins: Coventry 2 Man Utd 3


Another good chance for Coventry, the ball comes to Torp and his shot is deflected over the bar by his own player, Wright…





Nervous times for United.







84 mins: Coventry 2 Man Utd 3


Coventry are searching for the equaliser and that’s leaving gaps at the back. United counter and Hojlund has a chance in the box, but he dithers and cannot get the ball from out under his feet and the chance goes begging.







81 mins: Coventry 2 Man Utd 3


Coventry attack down the left and earn a corner. Nervous times for United. Can the Championship side get another?





Not from this corner, they cannot, as it goes deep. But they earn a throw, the ball comes back into the box and there’s one of the sweetest volleys you’ll see from Torp who thunders the ball at goal and forces a good save from Onana. Either side of the keeper and that was 3-3…





This tie is very much in the balance.










WHAT A SAVE! #ITVFootball | #FACup





— ITV Football (@itvfootball) April 21, 2024






Coventry 2 Man Utd 3





Well, well, well…they couldn’t do it do they? O’Hare’s shot takes a wicked deflection off the back of Wan-Bissaka and loops over a helpless Onana. Simms has the ball in the United half and is given the freedom of north west London. He meanders towards the box before laying it off to O’Hare who tries his luck from outside the area. Fortune favours the brave and all that and he gets the luck he and his team so needed.







73 mins: Coventry 1 Man Utd 3


There are still 17 minutes to go, enough time for Coventry to get back into this?









Coventry 1 Man Utd 3





Game back on? Ellis Simms scores a fine goal with a beautiful finish at the near post. Simms has been the side’s biggest goal threat all season and finally he’s got a ball in the box he can work with. It comes in from the right and Simms takes it first time beating Onana at the near post. That’s his 15th is 13 and Coventry’s first shot on target.










A tidy finish from Ellis Simms gives Coventry hope! #ITVFootball | #FACup | @_ellissimms | @Coventry_city





— ITV Football (@itvfootball) April 21, 2024




68 mins: Coventry 0 Man Utd 3


O’Hare tussles with Maguire in the box and falls under the challenge. The Coventry fans appeal for a penalty but Robert Jones, the ref, waves play on. The replay confirms it was the right decision.







65 mins: Coventry 0 Man Utd 3


Change for United: Garnacho, not happy at being taken off last week venting his frustration on social media, is off for Antony. Wonder, whether he’ll go straight to Twitter (or X as it is now known…).







62 mins: Coventry 0 Man Utd 3


Triple change for Coventry: Luis Binks, Victor Torp and Fabio Tavares replace Joel Latibeaudiere, Liam Kitching and Josh Eccles.







60 mins: Coventry 0 Man Utd 3


That goal illustrated the difference between the two teams. Coventry failed to get a shot in on their attack, after some patient build up, while United’s quality shone through in theirs. Fernandes didn’t let the opportunity to shoot pass, and found the back of the net.









Coventry 0 Man Utd 3





Game over as Fernandes makes it three.





United counter at pace they move the ball from right to left, the ball eventually breaks for the Portuguese midfielder who creates the shooting chance well before he gets a bit lucky with a defected shot at the near post.










An incisive counterattack puts the Red Devils clear.





And a lovely little jump from referee Robert Jones too #ITVFootball | #FACup | @ManUtd





— ITV Football (@itvfootball) April 21, 2024




56 mins: Coventry 0 Man Utd 2


Coventry finally seeing a bit more of the ball, they’re passing it around well but not able to create much in the final third. As I typed that they’re in and around the United box but fail to get a shot in on goal…







54 mins: Coventry 0 Man Utd 2


Corner for Coventry – chance for them to put United under pressure for the first time this half. The ball is delivered deep into the box and the Premier League club head clear the danger.







53 mins: Coventry 0 Man Utd 2


Apparently over 50 per cent of Coventry’s goals have come in the last 30 minutes of matches, a stat for the fans to grab hold of.







51 mins: Coventry 0 Man Utd 2


United have started this half the brighter, they are attacking with vim and vigour, as I type Dalot feeds Fernandes who tries to float a ball to Rashford. The cross is headed clear, but the favourites are definitely not rested on their two-goal lead.







49 mins: Coventry 0 Man Utd 2


Rashford attacks on the left and earns a free-kick for his troubles. Meanwhile, in the stands London Marathon Man Jim Ratcliffe has arrived.





From the set piece, they go short and Rashford shoots from distance. It’s well struck, but also well blocked by a Coventry body.





A personal-best time in the London Marathon and now watching his team play





Sir Jim Ratcliffe #ITVFootball | #FACup





— ITV Football (@itvfootball) April 21, 2024




47 mins: Coventry 0 Man Utd 2


Lots of empty seats after the break, fans still indulging in a cheeky beverage?





Meanwhile on the pitch Fernandes lets fly from just outside the box, it’s a curler that is only inches wide of the left upright.







45 mins: Coventry 0 Man Utd 2


They’re back under way at Wembley, as Roy Keane, working for ITV today, says ‘the next goal is ‘huge’.







Dominant Dalot





Diogo Dalot assist and goal-saving clearance for United, who has now hit 150 appearances for his club. He is a clear player-of-the-season candidate for a player whose future at Old Trafford has not always been certain.







HALF-TIME: Coventry 0 Man Utd 2


Just what Mark Robins didn’t want. Had it stayed 1-0 he could have got his players in at the break, told them they’re still in this match and can, as that Simms chance illustrates, cause United problems.





That Maguire goal, however, has completely changed the complexion of this match.









Coventry 0 Man Utd 2





Maguire scores with his head from the resulting corner. It’s a poor goal to concede, on the stroke of half-time and with the England defender left with a free-header from the set piece.





Maguire DOUBLES United’s lead on the stroke of half-time!





Thumping header!


#ITVFootball | #FACup | @ManUtd





— ITV Football (@itvfootball) April 21, 2024




42 mins: Coventry 0 Man Utd 1


Those two chances have given voice to the Coventry fans whose side until then hadn’t been in the match.





As I typed that Collins makes a good save from a Rashford shot that was hit first time from just inside the box on the left. The Coventry goalkeeper palms it away for a corner.







A happy sight for United fans


United players celebrate the opening goal


United players celebrate the opening goal CREDIT: Reuters/Toby Melville




38 mins: Coventry 0 Man Utd 1


Another Coventry attack and this one is more threatening. Great work from Eccles (Coventry born and bred) on the right before he plays a peach of a low ball to the back post that takes out Onana and seemingly presents Simms with a tap in. But Dalot again reads it well and gets in ahead of the Coventry striker.





The Portuguese defender is having a fine match so far.







37 mins: Coventry 0 Man Utd 1


BREAKING NEWS: Coventry are in the Man Utd half on the attack, it looks promising with the ball at the feet of Kitching who has four runners ahead of him. But his pass out left is well read by Dalot and the attack is snuffed out virtually at birth.







Ten Hag tells team to keep their concentration





Erik ten Hag is furious with goal-scorer Scott McTominay as he needlessly concedes a free-kick. The Manchester United manager is pointing at his head. His team are in control of this FA Cup semi-final and do not need to make such needless mistakes. M