In order to predict the FA Cup final and the Premier League finish, we “sacked” Erik ten Hag as manager of Man United

May 2, 2024 | Sports | 0 comments

A potential summer departure looms for Erik ten Hag from Manchester United, raising questions about the team’s performance sans the Dutchman. To gain insight, we simulated the rest of the season on Football Manager 2024 without Ten Hag at the helm.

Amid speculation that Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s Ineos Group is eyeing a new manager, this might signal the end of Ten Hag’s tenure. Despite a promising start in his debut season, with a third-place finish in the Premier League and a Carabao Cup triumph, United’s second campaign has faltered, with the team struggling to secure Champions League qualification.

Results could have been better, with United ranking low in goals scored and facing a barrage of shots. With Ten Hag’s potential exit, we delved into what the remainder of the season might look like for United without him.

To conduct this simulation, we utilized the Football Manager 2024 editor to replace Ten Hag with academy coach Travis Binnion for the remaining matches. We then updated the game with current results, fixtures, and standings before simulating the season’s conclusion.

Premier League: Crystal Palace 2-1 Man United

The post-Ten Hag era commenced on a sour note as United suffered a 2-1 defeat against Crystal Palace. Rasmus Hojlund’s early goal wasn’t enough, as Jean-Philippe Mateta netted twice to secure the Eagles’ victory.

Premier League: Man United 1-3 Arsenal

United’s woes continued at home with a 3-1 loss to Arsenal. Despite Hojlund’s opener, Arsenal dominated the second half, with goals from Gabriel Martinelli, Bukayo Saka, and Ben White sealing the win.

Premier League: Man United 2-0 Newcastle United

A glimmer of hope emerged as United secured a 2-0 victory over Newcastle United, ensuring European football next season. Antony and Christian Eriksen found the net in a crucial win for Binnion’s side.

Premier League: Brighton 1-1 Man United

United ended the Premier League season with a 1-1 draw against Brighton, securing a sixth-place finish. Joao Pedro’s early goal was cancelled out by Eriksen, concluding the league campaign with a share of points.

FA Cup Final: Man City 4-0 Man United

In the FA Cup final, United suffered a crushing 4-0 defeat to rivals Manchester City at Wembley. Phil Foden’s brace, along with goals from Bernardo Silva and Kyle Walker, sealed victory for Pep Guardiola’s side.

Despite one win, one draw, and two defeats in the final four Premier League games, United finished sixth, securing Europa League football for the following season. The FA Cup defeat highlighted Ten Hag’s absence, potentially impacting the outcome.

Ultimately, removing Ten Hag from the equation didn’t significantly alter United’s Premier League season, but his absence in the FA Cup final proved costly.

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