Manchester United’s season keeps sinking to new lows. A humiliating 4-0 defeat at Crystal Palace leaves them facing a real possibility of missing out on European competitions altogether next season.

A Record-Breaking Implosion

This loss plunges United to eighth in the league, outside the coveted European spots. While a win in the FA Cup final against Manchester City could salvage a Europa League place, it’s a far cry from the expectations of a club with United’s history.

Manager Erik ten Hag, despite fielding a team missing 10 first-team players due to injuries, remained blunt in his assessment. “This is underperforming,” he stated. “It’s by far not good enough.”

The stats paint a bleak picture:

  • Most Premier League defeats for United in a single season (13)
  • Lowest potential league finish ever (currently 8th, never finished below 7th)
  • Second-worst expected goals performance of the season (0.35)
  • Most goals conceded in all competitions since 1976-77 (81)
  • Three away defeats by a margin of four goals or more (tied for worst with newly promoted Nottingham Forest)

Ten Hag’s Future Under Scrutiny

With a year left on his contract, Ten Hag’s position is under increasing scrutiny. United’s recent form has been dismal, dropping 10 points from their last 11 games and conceding late goals that cost them dearly.

Ten Hag blames the unprecedented injury crisis, highlighting the 14th different center-back pairing used this season (Jonny Evans, 36, and Casemiro, 32, starting against Palace).

However, pressure is mounting on new co-owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe to address Ten Hag’s future. Pundits like Jamie Carragher haven’t minced words, calling United “one of the most poorly coached teams in the Premier League.”

Fan Frustration and a Fight for Survival

While a section of the away fans offered a defiant ovation at the end, it was a gesture more for their loyalty than the performance on the pitch.

The players themselves understand the gravity of the situation. “As Man Utd we should perform better,” Ten Hag admitted to BBC. “It’s a deserved defeat.”

United face a crucial clash against Arsenal next, with Ten Hag’s future hanging in the balance. Despite facing immense challenges, he insists, “I will keep fighting.”

Can United turn things around, or will they miss out on Europe for the first time since the 1989-90 season? Only time will tell, but the current situation demands a drastic improvement if they are to salvage anything from this disastrous campaign.

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