Gary Lineker makes feelings clear on Erik ten Hag controversy after awkward interview with Man Utd boss

Gary Lineker makes feelings clear on Erik ten Hag controversy after awkward interview with Man Utd boss

WATCH NOW: Sports round-up as Gary Lineker responds to Erik ten Hag controversy

Jack Otway

By Jack Otway

Published: 27/05/2024

- 13:14

The BBC presenter has addressed Saturday's controversy

Gary Lineker has defended himself after his awkward interview with Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag on Saturday.

The BBC presenter talked with the Red Devils manager just moments after his side had beaten Manchester City 2-1 to win the FA Cup.

Lineker immediately started probing Ten Hag about his future, however, with the 63-year-old since facing a backlash online.

The Match of the Day icon was blasted by Joey Barton, among others, but has now defended his actions - as well as those of Alan Shearer.

Gary Lineker Erik ten Hag

Gary Lineker has defended himself after grilling Erik ten Hag on his Man Utd future after Saturday's FA Cup final


Lineker told Shearer on The Rest is Football podcast: "People took a bit of umbrage to our questioning and your answer to Erik ten Hag.

"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.

"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?"

And Shearer then took over by saying: "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]."

Lineker may not regret his approach.

But he did tell Ten Hag he hoped to see him next season after his triumph.

Whether that happens remains to be seen, however, with the 54-year-old fighting to keep his job.


Gary Lineker Alan Shearer

Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer interviewed Erik ten Hag after Man Utd won the FA Cup on Saturday


Thomas Tuchel, Mauricio Pochettino, Thomas Frank, Kieran McKenna and Roberto De Zerbi have all been linked with Ten Hag's position.

United insist they're yet to decide the 54-year-old's fate, with a review currently ongoing behind the scenes.

But Ten Hag feels he deserves to stay at United, saying on Saturday: “Two trophies in two seasons and three finals… not bad.

“If they don’t want me anymore, I’ll go somewhere else and win trophies.

"That’s what I do."

Erik ten Hag Man Utd

Man Utd boss Erik ten Hag feels he deserves to keep his job after Saturday's FA Cup final win over Man City


He then added: "I am here to win and I want to build a team.

"My whole managerial career I have won games and trophies.

"You see in the last decade, there were not many finals, many trophies, not many young players coming through the first team with high potential.

"I don't know this [about INEOS talking to other managers without his knowledge]. I can't answer this question.

"Maybe you have sources, I don't have them."

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