Home » Senior Man United stars blaming Erik ten Hag’s increased intensity during pre-season for injuries

Senior Man United stars blaming Erik ten Hag’s increased intensity during pre-season for injuries

by Ayantan Chowdhury

Manchester United’s second season under Erik ten Hag has been devastated by injuries with the manager hardly ever getting the luxury of choosing his strongest XI.

The number has even crossed 16 and the international break has seen United No 1 Andre Onana and last season’s top-scorer Marcus Rashford added to that list.

The club even conducted an internal inquiry to find out the root cause of the injuries and now, The Guardian has claimed senior stars at the club blame Ten Hag for the mess.

Pre-season intensity leading to injuries

As per the report, the former Ajax coach increased the intensity of training during pre-season in a bid to turn the side, that had just finished third, into potential title contenders.

However, it must be remembered that the players had played in a mid-season World Cup and with the travelling involved during the pre-season tour was quite hectic.

United played eight friendlies in total with four being in Europe — Norway, Scotland, England, and Ireland while the rest were played during their 12-day trip to the United States during which they traversed across three different time zones in places such as New Jersey, San Diego, Houston, and Las Vegas.

Christian Eriksen had even taken exception to the sheer volume of travelling involved and had mentioned it in an interview with the club’s media team.

“A section of Manchester United players believe the team’s poor start is down to Erik ten Hag overworking the squad in pre-season. They have complained of beginning the campaign feeling as tired as when they finished the previous one.

“Those discontented include several senior squad members, the Guardian has been told. During pre-season the manager is thought to have upped the intensity of training in an attempt to make United title contenders.

Commercial activities led to hectic pre-season

“It is understood none have explicitly aired their concerns to the manager, who believes his players are fully committed and comprehend the need for sacrifice if United are to be consistently successful.”

The overworked bit can be a factor, especially with the club always favouring commercial activities ahead of the footballing side of things. That was on display during the pre-season to America.

But too often, this bunch of players have called out a manager for not adhering to their set standards and that must also be remembered.

It will be interesting to see if Sir Jim Ratcliffe changes the medical department as well, just like his planned structural changes, to avoid such a scenario being played out in the future.

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