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Manchester United great believes Old Trafford chiefs picked the wrong manager

Treble hero says club in chaos from top down with Ten Hag in for shock
Erik ten Hag

Erik ten Hag

Kevin Palmer

Teddy Sheringham has hinted that Manchester United made a mistake when they hired Erik ten Hag as their new head coach, as he suggested the rebuilding process at Old Trafford will take many years.

Speaking exclusively to the Sunday World at a Bookmakers.com event in London, United's 1999 Treble-winning hero didn't hold back as he summed up what he described as a 'disgusting' season for the fallen giant of the English game.

Sheringham exuded more passion in this interview than flops like Harry Maguire, Paul Pogba, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Marcus Rashford have displayed all season - and therein lies the glaring problem.

This is a club that boasts the highest wage bill in England, yet they will finish this season with the lowest points total in United's Premier League history and Shergingham sums up the mindset of a modern footballer when he assesses their performances.

"It looked like some of the United players have looked at how the club treated this season and just thought it's not worth chasing it, which is unacceptable," Sheringham told us.

"From the outside looking in, it seems as if the players don't seem to care too much about the club, but that attitude drips down from the top.

"Players see its a mess at the highest level and they don't want to push the boat out to change it on the pitch.

"Gary Neville has said it this season, Roy Keane has also said it. If the top of the club isn't right, it won't work where it matters most and this interim manager plan highlighted the lack of leadership.

Sheringham after scoring in 1999

Sheringham after scoring in 1999

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"In any job, if you have got an interim manager and you don't like him too much, you just say; who cares, he'll be gone before me and I won't bother.

"I have three years left of my contract, so let's just leave it. And footballers are the worst for doing that, by the way.

"When you give footballers an excuse to down tools, some of them will take it and the idea that a club of Manchester United's stature can throw away a season and say it doesn't matter is unforgivable."

Ten Hag started his work as United manager with meetings in London over the last few days and he is set to embark on a huge squad overhaul that will see high-earners like Pogba, Wan-Bissaka, Jesse Lingard and Edinson Cavani leave this summer.

Yet Sheringham suggests it will need more than a big cheque-book to get United back in trophy-winning contention, as he admits he would have gone for a more familiar face to fill the Old Trafford hot-seat.

"This new manager has got a massive job on his hands," he added. "He has not worked in the Premier League before and doesn't have any experience of working at elite level in a top league.

"I know he has done well at Ajax, but the task he has been given at United is on a different scale to that.

"This is a massive football club that was at the top for a long time under Sir Alex (Ferguson) and it has been sliding for a decade now.

"The slide has gathered pace in recent years and someone needs to stop it quickly before it's too late.

"They are in a far worse state now than when Louis van Gaal was there, or when Jose Mourinho went it as manager.

"They both won trophies and have a proven track record of doing that, but the last few years have been terrible and it is hard to know what happens next.

"Is Ten Hag the man to do it? I don't know. Manchester United is in a terrible place and it is going to take a long time to turn things around.

"For me, I'd have gone for Mauricio Pochettino. He has a lot of Premier League experience, he gets the best out of players and he seemed like the perfect fit for me.

"He takes the game to the opposition like Pep Guardiola does at Man City, but they have gone for Ten Hag and we have to give him a chance to show what he can do."


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