Cracks in the Crest? Ten Hag’s Demands and Man Utd’s Discontent

Erik ten Hag’s reign at Manchester United has hit an unexpected snag. While last season brought a Carabao Cup trophy and Champions League qualification, this year paints a contrasting picture. Struggles for consistency, early cup exits, and a potential trophyless season have cast a shadow of doubt, further complicated by reported player concerns about the manager’s demanding training methods.

Despite early struggles, Ten Hag’s first season delivered a semblance of success. However, this campaign has been a different story. Their top-four hopes are fading, the Champions League and Carabao Cup journeys ended abruptly, and even the FA Cup presents a daunting challenge against Liverpool.

Injuries haven’t helped Manchester United’s cause, arguably impacting them more than any other Premier League team. Ten Hag has rarely been able to field his strongest starting XI, with the Manchester derby against City a prime example. The absence of key players like Lisandro Martinez, Luke Shaw, and Marcus Rashford exposed their vulnerabilities.

While Ten Hag remains optimistic about player recovery, a recent report from the Manchester Evening News has thrown a curveball. It claims “a minority of United players are concerned about the running demands from manager Erik ten Hag.” These players believe the high intensity training, especially after a grueling 62-game campaign last season, is contributing to the club’s injury woes.

Ten Hag’s demanding methods have been under scrutiny since his arrival. Notably, after losses to Brighton and Brentford at the start of last season, he punished his squad by making them run the extra distance Brentford covered compared to United, even participating himself. This unorthodox approach received mixed reactions, with some players “reacting positively” as per The Athletic, while others might now be questioning its long-term impact.

Written by Owen Sanders

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