Sir Jim Ratcliffe is the 'BIGGEST threat' to Erik ten Hag's job

Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s arrival at Old Trafford is the ‘BIGGEST threat’ to Erik ten Hag’s job right now, Mail Sport’s Man United expert Chris Wheeler tells It’s All Kicking Off

  • Man United’s Champions League hopes were dashed by Wednesday’s 3-3 draw
  • Chris Wheeler thinks Sir Jim Ratcliffe poses more of a threat to Erik ten Hag’s job
  •  We expected perfection from VAR – we haven’t got it: Listen to It’s All Kicking Off

The biggest threat to Erik ten Hag is Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s arrival at Manchester United, Mail Sport’s Red Devils expert Chris Wheeler has told It’s All Kicking Off.

Manchester United suffered a disappointing 3-3 draw against Galatasaray in the Champions League on Wednesday, hampering their qualification chances after throwing away a two-goal lead in the second half.

Although the draw doesn’t mathematically rule United out of qualifying, their chances of making the next stage of the Champions League have depleted hugely, with Copenhagen and Galatasaray both leading the Red Devils by a point in Group A.

Manchester United must now beat Bayern Munich and hope for a draw between their fellow Group A rivals to qualify.

With Champions League hopes dashed, pressure is mounting on Erik ten Hag, who has endured a turbulent start to the 2023-24 campaign.

Mail Sport’s Manchester United expert Chris Wheeler believes the biggest threat to Erik ten Hag is Sir Jim Ratcliffe ‘s arrival at Old Trafford, with pressure mounting on the Dutch manager

Ratcliffe is set to take over football operations at United after his £1.3billion minority takeover 

Wheeler joined Ian Ladyman and Chris Sutton on the podcast to discuss all things Manchester United, claiming that Ten Hag’s biggest concern should Ratcliffe taking over as a minority shareholder.

Ratcliffe’s imminent £1.3billion takeover will see the British tycoon take over control of football operations from the Glazer family.

Confident the Dutchman still largely has the support of his dressing room, Wheeler believes a new man coming in could potentially pose a threat to Ten Hag’s position.

Wheeler joined the It’s All Kicking Off podcast this week to talk all things Manchester United

He said: ‘For me, Erik ten Hag, I think the biggest danger for him now is the Sir Jim Ratcliffe. 

‘I think that while the current regime is in place, they are the people that employed him and his coaching staff and brought the players in for him. They’ve backed him to the hilt. They would obviously love for him to go and succeed.

‘Ratcliffe comes in with no agenda whatsoever other than he wants to make things better. And if I’m paying £1.3billion, I’m not coming in to go and do nothing. He will want to see improvements. 

‘He will want to see improvement across the board in terms of on the pitch, in the recruitment and I think for me that’s the biggest threat now to Erik ten Hag is a new investor coming in who will have control over football affairs.’

Wheeler also added that Ten Hag’s fallouts with Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane could be having an impact on the senior players.

‘In the dressing room, I think he has support,’ he said. ‘There’s obviously an issue with Jadon Sancho, naturally. The one that I think is concerning people is the Varane thing, that’s very strange. 

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Ten Hag has refused to confirm a suspected fallout between him and Raphael Varane (above)

‘You know, he’s a World Cup winner, he’s come from Real Madrid, he was an absolute shoe-in for a place in this team pretty much since he came into the club. And there’s been obviously a falling out there. 

‘Erik’s calling it rumours, maybe he’s not really biting on it, but there has quite clearly been a falling out between Ten Hag and Varane essentially over him being dropped for the derby and the fact that Jonny Evans was played alongside (Harry) Maguire instead of him. That was very hard for someone like him to go and take. 

‘So I think it’s a bad time for Erik ten Hag to be losing support of senior players and I think there’s a certain degree of sympathy for Jadon Sancho, and Varane of course has his allies in that dressing room, so it’s not all roses, most definitely. I think there’s also been a bit of a backlash against the discipline. 

‘I think when it’s going well, all these things work fine. When things start to go wrong, that’s when people begin to gripe a little bit, and it is a concern.’


It’s All Kicking Off is an exciting new podcast from Mail Sport that promises a different take on Premier League football.

It is available on MailOnline, Mail+, YouTube, Apple Music and Spotify.

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