Manchester United legend Gary Neville has cast doubt on Erik ten Hag's long-term future at Old Trafford, suggesting that the manager could be facing the axe if things don't dramatically improve by the end of the season.
Neville's comments come after United's dismal 2-1 defeat to Nottingham Forest, their ninth Premier League loss this season. This latest setback leaves the Red Devils languishing in seventh place, a whopping nine points adrift of the coveted top-four spots.
"They will make a decision on the manager before the end of the season, I have no doubt," Neville asserted on Sky Sports. "They've been so poor, and if that continues, Erik ten Hag will find himself under real pressure."
However, Neville also expressed cautious optimism under the club's new ownership, led by Sir Jim Ratcliffe's Ineos consortium. He believes the change in leadership could trigger a much-needed shake-up, but warned that Ten Hag's current lack of support is untenable.
"Ten Hag did a very good job in his first season, but now the new ownership will be on a watching brief," Neville explained. "David Brailsford is going to take a close look at what this club is, and he's not going to like what he sees."
Neville highlighted the critical lack of structure within the club, emphasizing the absence of a sporting director, a CEO, and even a head of recruitment. "What club in the world operates like that?" he questioned.
"Ten Hag is essentially on his own," Neville continued. "He's operating without a proper management team around him, which is incredible. He's been handed the keys to the safe, and that shouldn't happen."
With pressure mounting and a new ownership era dawning, the coming months will be crucial for both Ten Hag and Manchester United. Can the Dutchman turn things around and prove his worth, or will his reign at Old Trafford be cut tragically short? Only time will tell.