Paul Scholes backs plan for Steve McLaren to replace Erik ten Hag at Manchester United

Scholes hailed Ten Hag’s assistant as the “best coach” he worked with
Matt Verri1 minute ago

Paul Scholes and Michael Owen have urged Manchester United to sack Erik ten Hag, believing Steve McClaren should be put in charge for the final matches of the season.

The pressure on Ten Hag continues to grow after a disastrous performance at Selhurst Park on Monday night, as Crystal Palace cruised to a 4-0 win over a dismal United side.

It is just one win in seven Premier League matches for United, that sole victory coming after late goals at home to Sheffield United, and they now sit eighth in the table.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe is expected to make a decision on Ten Hag’s future at the club in the summer, but Owen believes a call must be made now, ahead of the final three league games and an FA Cup final against Manchester City.

“They’re going to get absolutely hammered by Manchester City, they’re going to get annihilated,” Owen told Premier League productions.

“In fact, Arsenal will smash them to bits at Old Trafford. Newcastle will probably beat them and I wouldn’t even fancy them going to Brighton either.

"I just wonder, there's just so much at stake, even if it's only for four games, I wonder whether the board might just have to try to do something here and now and be quite radical about it. But he simply cannot manage this team next season.”

Scholes described the defeat to Palace as a “final nail in the coffin” for Ten Hag, feeling it had similarities to a heavy United defeat against Watford in what proved to be Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s final match in charge.

The United legend worked with Ten Hag’s assistant McClaren when he was on Sir Alex Ferguson’s coaching staff, and Scholes believes the former England manager is not being being given a big enough role in the current set-up.

“He’s not touching that team,” Scholes said. “The manager must not be letting him touch that team.

Steve McLaren has been assistant to Erik ten Hag and Sir Alex Ferguson at Manchester United
The FA via Getty Images

“Sometimes we played against better teams. Steve McLaren put sessions on to make sure you stopped other teams, getting the distances right, getting the angles right. Especially all across the midfield. He has no impression on [the current] team.”

He added: “He’s the best coach I ever had.”

Owen played under McLaren for England and backed Scholes’ praise of the 63-year-old, claiming it was “impossible” that he could be blamed for United’s tactical issues this season.

“[McClaren] is a brilliant, brilliant coach,” Owen said.

“There’s no way on earth that he’s got anything to do with coaching that team, it’s impossible. Because that team is absolutely clueless right the way through it.

“There’s not one thing that I think ‘that works’. I don’t rate anything about it. Steve McClaren... I can only think there’s other people coaching the first-team and he’s a bystander.”