Five managers who can replace under-fire Erik ten Hag at Manchester United

Former Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane manager could be a candidate to replace Erik ten Hag at Manchester United. Picture: DPPI via AFP

Former Real Madrid manager Zinedine Zidane manager could be a candidate to replace Erik ten Hag at Manchester United. Picture: DPPI via AFP

Published May 8, 2024


Erik ten Hag’s future at Manchester United is hanging by a thread following their 4-0 humbling at the hands of Crystal Palace on Monday.

Football pundits such as Michael Owen have been calling for the Dutchman’s head, as United are currently eighth in the standings and in danger of finishing outside the European places, while also recording their worst season in the Premier league.

IOL Sport’s John Goliath looks at the possible candidates who can replace Ten Hag if he is sacked after only two seasons in charge of Manchester United.

Zinedine Zidane

Zidane, the former French football maestro, hasn’t managed anywhere since completing his second stint with Real Madrid.

Zidane had a trophy-lade time at the Spanish giants, winning two La Liga titles, three UEFA Champions League titles, two Spanish domestic cups, and winning both the UEFA Super Cup and FIFA Club World Cup in 2016 and 2017.

He recently ruled himself out of the running for the Bayern Munich job, which paves the way for a potential move to Old Trafford.

Antonio Conte

Conte is a serial winner, having won three Serie A titles and two Supercoppa Italia titles with Juventus. In his first stint in the Premier League he won the league title and FA Cup with Chelsea, before returning to Italy to win another Scudetto with Inter Milan.

However, his second coming in the Premier League ended in disaster with Tottenham Hotspur.

After guiding the team to Champions League qualification from ninth in the league, he blew up in a press conference the following season, accusing the club of lacking ambition.

He hasn’t managed since, but could be the man for a quick fix at United.

Roberto de Zerbi

The Brighton and Hove Albion boss De Zerbi has a lot of admirers in the Premier League for how he sets up his teams and the style of football they play.

Di Zerbi likes his teams to take on a fearless approach, building up from the back and playing through the lines to overcome a high press. This will make him a favourite with the United fans, who saw Ten Hag move away from the gameplan he used at Ajax Amsterdam with a lot of success.

Di Zerbi is also a coach who can get the best out of players who aren’t necessarily the biggest names in football.

Graham Potter

Like Di Zerbi, Potter also gained a lot of fans with the type of football he produced at Brighton, while also moulding rough diamonds into top players.

He fit Brighton’s philosophy of developing players and selling them on for big profits like a glove. However, he struggled to when moving to a big club like Chelsea, where he had to work with an inflated squad. He also couldn’t deal with the weight of expectation that comes with the job.

Potter, though, could be the perfect manager for a desperately needed rebuild at Old Trafford, and also bring back the type of football the fans want to see at the Theatre of Dreams.

Ruben Amorim

After impressive performances in Portugal, the Sporting Lisbon boss was linked with the Liverpool job before the Reds decided to appoint Dutchman Arne Slot to replace Jurgen Klopp.

In his first full season Sporting won the league title, losing just one game with a team featuring the likes of current Premier League stars Pedro Porro, Joao Palhinha and Matheus Nunes.

Like Conte, Amorim favours playing with three centre-backs and an intense pressing game. Pressing the opposition is United’s weakness, as they have become to passive on defence under Ten Hag.