Gary Neville reveals why Manchester United chose Ten Hag over Pochettino

Gary Neville previously backed Mauricio Pochettino to take over

Gary Neville previously backed Mauricio Pochettino’s takeover (Images: Sky Sports/Getty)

Gary Neville believes Paris Saint-Germain’s recent setbacks Mauricio Pochettino ‘cost’ the Argentine from Manchester United’s job after the Old Trafford club named Erik ten Hag as their next manager.

United interviewed both Ten Hag and Pochettino as they searched for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s permanent replacement and eventually sided with Ajax’s Ten Hag.

Pochettino had long been linked with a move to Manchester United, having previously impressed in the Premier League with Tottenham and Southampton.

But Neville believes Pochettino’s tumultuous tenure at PSG has dashed his chances of a Manchester United acquisition this summer, as the French giants failed to win the Ligue 1 title last season and won the Champions League earlier than hoped in left this season.

Asked why he thinks United chose Ten Hag over the former Spurs boss, Neville told Sky Sports: “I think ultimately Pochettino has been the standout choice for a number of years.

“Losing in the Champions League this season, not winning the league in France last year…

“Let’s be clear, PSG is not an easy club to manage. [Chelsea manager] Thomas Tuchel had problems there. Tuchel was not the statesman figure he was at Chelsea at PSG.

Man Utd have appointed Erik ten Hag as their new manager

Man Utd have appointed Erik ten Hag as their new manager (Image: Getty)

“I think only what happened to Mauricio Pochettino at Paris Saint-Germain cost him.

“He has great experience in the Premier League, he’s done an excellent job at Southampton and Tottenham.

“But the current mood is absolutely crucial and Ten Hag is the man of the moment. Look, United have spoken to both of them and the club have determined that Erik ten Hag is the right man to take the club forward.

Ten Hag, who has signed a three-year contract at Manchester United, will become the club’s fifth permanent manager since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.

The Dutchman joins a club currently sixth in the Premier League and without a title for five years. United’s fall was exposed again on Tuesday night as they were beaten 4-0 by Liverpool at Anfield.

Neville added: “What we are seeing at this moment is unacceptable.

“That needs to be addressed first and Ten Hag has a huge job of getting the club back up to the minimum standards that they need to achieve which is attitude, work ethic, faith, confidence and then hopefully you start thinking about winning trophies.

“But honestly I wouldn’t put too much pressure on Ten Hag in the first year or two to win a trophy at the club. It would be great if he did, and he would be overwhelmed in my opinion.

“It will be: get in the top 4, restore Man Utd in the Champions League, attract the players to the club who can play the way he wants to play and then get a belief system.

“It took Jürgen Klopp four or five years to win a Premier League title, as magnificently as he did. I wouldn’t put pressure on Ten Hag to win a Premier League title in the first two or three years.

“They are miles away from that at the moment. At the end of last season I thought they were getting closer. But it all collapsed and fell apart. I don’t know why this happened. Ten Hag is allowed to pick up the shards.

“So early stages: build the foundations of what he wants to achieve, then in years three, four, five is when you start looking at him to win trophies.”

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Manchester United Gary Neville reveals why Manchester United chose Ten Hag over Pochettino

Nate Jones

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