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Former Real Madrid Coach Zinedine Zidane is set to become the manager of this Premier League club

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Former Real Madrid Coach Zinedine Zidane is set to become the manager of this Premier League club

MANCHESTER UNITED 0-3 NEWCASTLE: Pressure mounts on Erik ten Hag as much-changed Magpies side thrash awful United to knock them out of the Carabao Cup at Old Trafford

Erik ten Hag was taunted by chants of “you’re getting sacked in the morning” as Newcastle inflicted a second successive heavy home defeat on his Manchester United side in four days.

Zinedine Zidane, the Real Madrid icon, is the frontrunner to succeed Erik ten Hag at Manchester United.

Ten Hag has been under fire from fans  because of the team’s dismal start to the season, which was further exacerbated by their humiliating loss to Manchester City at Old Trafford on Sunday.

There has been a lot of speculation about Ten Hag’s future at the club, and potential replacements are reportedly already lined up. The French legend, Zinedine Zidane, is the front-runner to take over as manager at Manchester United.

Ten Hag came into the fourth-round Carabao Cup tie under huge pressure following a humiliating 3-0 thrashing by Manchester City on Sunday. And things got even worse for the Dutchman as Eddie Howe’s much-changed side handed out another schooling in front of a disillusioned Old Trafford crowd.

Newcastle took the lead in style when Tino Livramento picked the pocket of Alejandro Garnacho and charged up the pitch unhindered to set up Miguel Almiron, who beat Andre Onana. The Magpies doubled their lead eight minutes later, Lewis Hall volleying into the bottom corner after Harry Maguire failed to get distance on his header.

Ten Hag was forced to listen to taunts from the away fans and then heard boos from his own supporters as he went down the tunnel at the break. The Dutchman reacted with a double substitution at half-time, but it didn’t have the desired effect, with Joe Willock picking out the bottom corner with a measured finish to make it 3-0.

His crowning achievement came against Newcastle in the Carabao Cup final in February as he ended United’s six-year wait for silverware, but eight months on Ten Hag is facing huge problems, with five defeats in the last eight at home. Here are the talking points from Mirror Football.

1. United’s poor discipline

 United's poor discipline

There were lots of players desperate to make an impact at Old Trafford, with 15 changes in total between the two sides from their previous match. Ten Hag had made seven from the 3-0 loss against Manchester City – and while they were eager to impress, United’s players didn’t channel it in the right way.

Hannibal Mejbri showed that anxious energy the most obviously. The 20-year-old was charging around right from the kick-off, adding to his reputation for aggressiveness. He was booked in the 14th minute and could have been given his marching orders a few minutes later when he committed another blatant foul on Emil Krafth. Gary Neville – not one to hide his support of United – thought Hannibal should have been sent off.

But it wasn’t just the inexperience of youth. Casemiro was at it too, picking up a needless yellow for a sloppy tackle as his lack of pace showed.

Miguel Almiron came off the bench to open the scoring

Eddie Howe named a much-changed side himself, with a whole collection of full-backs coming together in an experimental side. Unlike United, they looked together and went ahead with a goal which told the contrasting stories between the two sides.

Tino Livramento stole the ball off Alejandro Garnacho with ease, breezed past Mason Mount and fed the ball in behind Diogo Dalot for Almiron to run onto. The Paraguayan, who was only on the pitch due to an injury to Matt Targett, slotted into the corner despite a heavy touch to send the 7,000 travelling fans wild. United looked all over the place against the Newcastle counter-attack, with their disorganisation and soft centre exposed once again.

3. Substitutions in vain

Substitutions in vain

Ten Hag acted at half-time. He had no choice but to. Dalot and captain for the night Casemiro were hauled off, with Sofyan Amrabat and Aaron Wan-Bissaka brought on in their place. Hannibal stayed on the pitch, while Victor Lindelof was given the armband ahead of former skipper Maguire.

For 15 minutes the changes appeared to be having the desired effect, with United sustaining some pressure on the Newcastle box. It didn’t last and the balloon was soon popped with Amrabat surrendering possession and Willock drifting forward and picking out the bottom corner as Maguire and Lindelof backed off.

The cavalry arrived soon after, with Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford and Rasmus Hojlund coming on. But, in truth, it was too little, too late.

4. Big-money players struggling

Big-money players struggling

Ten Hag is currently failing to get the best out of some extremely expensive players who were signed specifically for him. Three of them started against a second-string Newcastle side and failed to make an impact.

Casemiro joined United 14 months ago. Back then he cost them £70m from Real Madrid. He enjoyed a solid debut campaign, but looks really out of sorts at the moment, with the standard of his performances having dropped alarmingly. He has gone from a reliant midfield destroyer to a beleaguered, sluggish and frequently exposed relic.

Mason Mount was signed for £60m this summer. He has just one assist in nine appearances this season and looks a shadow of the player he once was at Chelsea, with no goals scored in 2023. Antony was Ten Hag’s main man at Ajax and cost £85m to bring to Old Trafford. He looks predictable and uninspired. United’s recruitment team deserve criticism for their work, but Ten Hag wanted these players and he isn’t getting the most out of them.

5. Newcastle make history

Newcastle make history

There have been numerous high points of the Eddie Howe era at Newcastle. The Geordie fans now have another one to add to their long list.

 

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