Boudewijn Zenden believes ongoings off the pitch at Old Trafford have not made Erik ten Hag's time at Manchester United any easier.

Ten Hag's first season at Old Trafford was promising, finishing in the top four and ending the club's trophy drought as the Red Devils lifted the EFL Cup.

However, Ten Hag's second season in Manchester has not reached the same standards, and though the club will face rivals Manchester City at Wembley in the FA Cup final later this month, United currently sit eighth in the Premier League, 14 points off the Champions League places.

Ten Hag's tenure at Old Trafford has included a number of off-the-field incidents, with a fallout between himself and Jadon Sancho leading to the winger going out on loan to Borussia Dortmund, while Jim Ratcliffe also became co-owner of the club earlier this year.

Zenden feels that events off the pitch have not made Ten Hag's job easy, as well as the lofty expectations that managing a club the size of United comes with.

"I have a feeling a bit that at United, there's more going on than just the results, and that doesn't make it easy for Ten Hag," Zenden told Stats Perform. "As I said, you have the press, the pundits that all have their view on United.

"That also comes probably with the frustration of the fact that United are one of the biggest clubs in the world that also had their time in Europe where they were very strong.

"For that matter, they were a little bit off the pace, and that upsets people of course. You have to be able to guide the club, the team, the players, the crowd, everybody through that particular period and seize out the storm."

With United stumbling in the Premier League, Ten Hag has come into increasing conflict with reporters of late.

Ten Hag's countryman Arne Slot is reportedly in the frame for the Liverpool job with current incumbent Jurgen Klopp leaving at the end of the season.

Zenden believes Slot's composure with the media will serve him well should he join Liverpool, an area where he feels Ten Hag has sometimes been lacking.

"I think what could be in Slot's favour is that I think he's relatively calm in his press conferences," Zenden continued. "I don't think he will get tempted quickly to start an argument with the press.

"I'm sure the press will be happy to try and lure him out to get a few controversial phrases out, but the way I look at it now, I think he's a little bit more composed.

"This is something that maybe Ten Hag didn't help himself with also a few times this year. There's been a lot of upset. The results have not been what probably everybody would have expected."