Man Utd fans won’t stand for Ratcliffe choice to replace Ten Hag

Robin Bairner
Robin Bairner
  • Updated: 13 Nov 2023 09:14 GMT
  • 4 min read
Erik ten Hag, Sir Jim Ratcliff, Man Utd, 2023/24
© ProShots

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag continues to find his position at Old Trafford threatened, with the imminent arrival of Sir Jim Ratcliffe at the club offering a further threat to the job security of the former Ajax boss.

Unconvincing Premier League victories over Fulham and Luton sandwiched an embarrassing Champions League loss against Copenhagen to leave Ten Hag clinging onto his post into the November international break.

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When Ratcliffe completes his 25% takeover of the club and assumes responsibility for the sporting side of the club, which is a deal that could be announced this week, he may not show as much patience with his manager as was previously done by the Glazer brothers.

Premier League managers: Full list of current bosses as Ten Hag 'on thin ice'

Indeed, speculation has already surrounded numerous potential candidates to replace Ten Hag, with former Chelsea boss Graham Potter and Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi among the names mentioned.

Another interesting possibility, though, is Nice head coach Francesco Farioli, who is already working under Ratcliffe at Nice.

The Italian has been mentioned in dispatches as a possible solution to the Red Devils’ problems and his relationship with the club’s future owner would appear to smooth a passage to Old Trafford.

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Erik ten Hag is under pressure at Man Utd
© ProShots - Erik ten Hag is under pressure at Man Utd

Farioli lacks Man Utd DNA

On paper, Farioli looks an interesting option. Having worked previously under De Zerbi and absorbed some of the Brighton boss’ philosophy, he has lifted Nice to second in Ligue 1.

He has, however, earned the reputation of playing football ‘a la Italienne’ in France, which is meant as a backhanded compliment. Farioli’s side are effective, but otherwise entirely unattractive.

Farioli speaks to Man Utd target Jean-Clair Todibo
© ProShots - Farioli speaks to Man Utd target Jean-Clair Todibo

Nice have been dreadful to watch this season, churning out game after game devoid of entertainment. They remain one of the few clubs undefeated in Europe’s Big Five leagues this season but have scored just 13 goals in 12 games.

Defensively, they have conceded only four times, with only PSG netting against them since 20 August.

It is an impressive record but it is not a brand of football that would enamour Farioli to a club like Man Utd, where there is an expectation not only to win, but to do so in a stylish manner.

Francesco Farioli has an impressive record with Nice
© ProShots - Francesco Farioli has an impressive record with Nice

Given United’s struggles in recent years, supporters would likely stomach this brand of football up to a point, but there would be tolerance if and when things started to go wrong.

Farioli, a former goalkeeper coach who is in his first head coach post at Nice, may be doing a fine job, but he is not Ratcliffe’s man to take over from Ten Hag at Man Utd.

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