Erik ten Hag calls out Gary Lineker to his face in spiky BBC chat after Man Utd win FA Cup

Erik ten Hag gave a spicy interview to the BBC after Man Utd’s FA Cup win (Image: BBC)

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag told Gary Lineker live on the BBC that he and his players have been unfairly treated by the Beeb presenter and the rest of the media this season following Saturday’s FA Cup final victory over Manchester City at Wembley.

Ten Hag has battled rampant injury issues all campaign, and they have had a devastating impact on performances and results. Falling from third place in 2022/23 to eighth place this term, United notched their worst league finish in 34 years.

But Saturday’s performance at Wembley ensured they ended the season on a high. The surprise 2-1 win over noisy neighbours Manchester City not only boosted Ten Hag’s stock in the minds of supporters, but it also earned the Red Devils a spot in next term’s Europa League.

The United boss recently aired grievances about media coverage on the club’s season. And when Lineker asked him during a post-match interview whether he felt ‘unfairly treated’ by the media including ‘the likes of ourselves’, while pointing to Alan Shearer, Wayne Rooney and Micah Richards, Ten Hag was short and snappy with his response.

“I think so,” he said in a spiky chat. “The team, me as well, it was not right.”

Following an awkward silence, Shearer jumped in to say: “The only thing I would say to that though… you had a team out there today who showed a great attitude, great ability, won every single tackle. That hasn’t always been the case this season though, has it? So you can understand why we do criticise sometimes. If you played like that every single week, you wouldn’t have finished in eighth. Today was unbelievable.”

Erik ten Hag avenged last season’s FA Cup final defeat to Manchester City (Image: Getty)

To which a resilient Ten Hag replied: “We didn’t have the players [due to injuries]. You’re right, we’ve seen the same things, there was not always good football. Definitely not. But we had to make all the time compromises.

“Then you can’t play the football you want to play. I’m now two years here and probably three or four times we had a full squad. Today some massive players – Harry Maguire, Luke Shaw, Casemiro – were not in the squad.”

Alejandro Garnacho and Kobbie Mainoo put United two goals in front during the first half as Ten Hag’s tactics prevented City from playing their usual, free-flowing brand of football.

Jeremy Doku made a significant difference for the Sky Blues after coming on at the interval, and his 87th-minute strike put United backs against the wall for the closing moments of the contest. But the underdogs held on, giving Ten Hag the second trophy of his tenure.

The Dutchman, who could reportedly be sacked despite Saturday’s result, remains in the dark over whether he will ever manage another Red Devils match. “I don’t know,” he admitted. “The only thing I’m doing is preparing my team, progressing my team and individual players.

“For me, this is a project. When I came in, it was a mess. We are better now, but by far not where we want to be. Football is about winning trophies. I want to play the best football, dynamic football, attacking football but you have to win trophies. That’s the mentality we brought in.”