Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer fire back at furious criticism over Erik ten Hag interview

Erik ten Hag wasn’t happy with how Alan Shearer and Gary Lineker conducted themselves (Image: BBC)

Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer have hit back after facing criticism for their alleged harsh treatment of Erik ten Hag following Manchester United’s stunning 2-1 victory over Manchester City in the FA Cup final. Despite the Red Devils’ momentous win, the broadcasting legends did not shy away from addressing the team’s less impressive performances throughout the season during their post-match interview with the Dutch manager.

United supporters took to social media to express their disapproval, suggesting that Lineker and Shearer’s line of questioning was inappropriate after such a significant win. However, the iconic Match of the Day duo stood by their approach on The Rest Is Football podcast.

“People took a bit of umbrage to our questioning and your answer to Erik ten Hag,” Lineker remarked to Shearer. “He came over and he didn’t seem very happy right from the start. I think he also had a pop at Roy Keane, so he obviously had something in his mind when he came over.”

Lineker elaborated: “I asked the question, ‘Do you think you’ve been unfairly treated by pundits, and even us?’ Obviously, it’s our job to be critical on occasion, we have to say what we think. And then he replied saying ‘definitely’, and then you challenged him didn’t you?”

Shearer retorted: “Yeah. He’s entitled to have a pop back because he’s been criticised at times and I think rightly so, because his team have been miles off it. They’ve been poor. They’ve had a disastrous season in terms of the league. I don’t think any Man Utd fan would argue that. To finish eighth, to finish with the number of goals they’ve conceded, shots against, it’s embarrassing.

“So for all of those things we’ve had to criticise them this season. If we didn’t we wouldn’t be doing our job. But he’s entitled to have the hump with people who he feels are being unfair, but I felt I was well within my rights [to say what I said].”

The Mirror report in the aftermath of the cup final, an evidently irked Ten Hag lashed out at Lineker and Shearer during the interview, taking exception to the nature of their questioning and even instructing them to “calm down”.

Bruno Fernandes and Erik ten Hag after Manchester City v Manchester United – FA Cup Final (Image: Getty)

Shearer managed to turn a positive comment about United’s display at Wembley into a critique of their overall season performance, while Lineker probed the ex-Ajax manager on whether he had just overseen his last game for United.

“You are very good here in England to push players and managers very high, and then you hammer them when they have one or two bad performances,” Ten Hag snapped at them. “I think you should be more calm.”

One fan on X expressed their dismay, saying: “I thought the line of questioning by Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer to Erik ten Hag was disrespectful and wrong. Irrespective of his future, he’s just won the FA Cup. Focus on the accomplishment. Instead, this was an ambush. He’s right to fight back.”

Another chimed in with criticism: “Lineker and Shearer going in on Ten Hag, to his face, after the man has just won an FA Cup. Weirdly combative interview. Give it a rest.”

Despite Manchester United finishing the season in a disappointing eighth place in the Premier League and suffering 19 defeats across all competitions, their FA Cup final performance was nothing short of stellar.

The Red Devils seized control 30 minutes into the game when Alejandro Garnacho pounced on a defensive error from Josko Gvardiol and Stefan Ortega, easily slotting the ball into the net. Their advantage was solidified shortly after, as Kobbie Mainoo poked in a close-range effort following a sublime set-up by Bruno Fernandes.

City managed to claw one back through Jeremy Doku’s late strike, but United clung on to secure the victory, marking their second major trophy in consecutive years under the guidance of Ten Hag.

Before the match, there were rumours that the club was ready to let go of the Dutch manager, regardless of the outcome at Wembley. However, with much of United’s gloom now lifted, a change of heart could be in the offing. If Ten Hag does depart, potential successors could include Mauricio Pochettino, Kieran McKenna, Thomas Tuchel and Roberto De Zerbi.

Source: https://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/1904008/lineker-shearer-ten-hag-interview-man-united-FA-Cup