Manchester United escalate feud between Ten Hag and Sky reporter over sh*thouse tweet

·3-min read
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag Credit: PA Images
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag Credit: PA Images

Erik ten Hag’s unlikely feud with Sky Sports reporter Gary Cotterill continued during the latest Manchester United press conference.

Before the club’s pre-match presser ahead of the trip to Southampton at Saturday lunchtime, veteran journalist Cotterill was informed by a Manchester United press officer that he would not be able to ask Ten Hag any questions.

Cotterill persisted despite this, attempting to quiz the Dutchman on numerous occasions before being instantly cut off.

The long-standing reporter later expressed his shock at the situation, believing the reaction stemmed from a moment towards the end of last season when Cotterill rather aggressively tried to interview Ten Hag outside Selhurst Park, the manager having attended Manchester United’s game against Crystal Palace.

“I’m surprised,” Cotterill said. “I’m assuming he was offended by the thing at Palace but he was doing his job by not commenting and I was doing my job trying to get a comment.

“I’m only guessing that was the reason. I haven’t been told. You saw what was said but I don’t think it would be too much of a leap to assume it was about that.”

The incident in question occurred in May, when Cotterill failed to get a word out of the Dutchman before he got into his car.

“Don’t push me, you’re on television,” he told Ten Hag’s entourage as they tried to usher him away. “It doesn’t look good being manhandled by security, Erik. It’s Man United. It’s a big club.”

The Sky Sports reporter had also clashed with Ten Hag while he was still Ajax manager after Cotterill travelled to Amsterdam to congratulate him upon his appointment to the Old Trafford dugout.

Cotterill seemed to interrupt a young Ajax supporter’s photo with Ten Hag to interview him, with the Dutchman holding a hand up and driving away in response.

“He looked a bit taken aback and surprised to have a Sky Sports microphone thrust in front of him,” Cotterill said at the time. “He didn’t really want to say much did he? He’s going to have to get used to a slightly less laid back atmosphere than they have out here in Amsterdam.

“That kind of thing, being at the centre of attention. He’s the new Manchester United manager.

“It was surprising to me that he looked surprised. That the biggest football channel in England came to see how he was, to wish him congratulations and to try and get a word.

“Maybe there will be a little bit of an adaption coming for him over the next few months.”

It is believed that Ten Hag will personally explain his stance to Cotterill next week, with some national newspapers suggesting a tweet from the reporter contributed to the snub.

During Manchester United’s humbling defeat to Brentford, Cotterill posted a message saying ‘#karma’ accompanied by an emoji officially described as ‘relieved face’, but which actually looks rather smug.

It’s not exactly “there’s too many f**king Custises”, but it’s good stuff nonetheless.

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