In summary

  • Ten Hag given told to improve as he face axe
  • Potter top in the list of those to replace ten Hag

 

Graham Potter is expected to be high on Manchester United’s shortlist of managerial candidates once INEOS are running football operations – if they decide to part company with Erik ten Hag.

However, it is clear the current hierarchy at Old Trafford has no plans to change manager and there has been no approach – even loosely – to any potential successor.

It is thought United’s injury crisis is seen as at least some mitigation for the recent poor results and there is still broad alignment with the Dutchman’s long-term vision.

That inevitably means a prolonged period of uncertainty and if results do not improve, it is hard to see Ten Hag surviving in his position long-term within the new structure.

Sir Dave Brailsford – the INEOS director of sport – has been carrying out a full audit at Old Trafford in readiness for the new structure, which will see INEOS take total control of football operations.

Brailsford’s priority is said to be to improve the operational structure of the football department, rather than focus solely on the manager.

There are question marks over whether United could afford to change the whole coaching team at the club and still remain within the Premier League’s profitability and sustainability rules.

Nevertheless, Brailsford – the former head of British Cycling – has built his career around a scientific approach to elite sport and it is thought that is a key factor in his and Ratcliffe’s admiration of Potter who, alongside his coaching qualifications, also has a masters degree in leadership and emotional intelligence.

It is understood Ratcliffe and Brailsford can see beyond Potter’s failure at Chelsea, where he lasted less than a season, and think he is of the right calibre and mindset to carry out the long-term rebuilding job at Old Trafford – if Ten Hag cannot improve results on the field quickly.

 

December 14, 2023

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