Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag lambasts the fixture congestion in football as many clubs are facing an injury crisis
Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag expressed his anger over the fixture congestion in football responsible for the injury crisis. The Dutchman stated that the schedule has already crossed the limit of what players can handle.
The Red Devils have suffered from an injury crisis since the start of the current season that has hampered them. United have lost nine out of the 18 games in all competitions as they get ready to face Everton. The Premier League action returns after the third international break of the season as clubs face congested December fixtures.
The 2022 FIFA World Cup took place during the last year’s winter, changing the schedule drastically for this year. Furthermore, the introduction of new rules to counter time-wasting and VAR time slots has drastically increased extra time in games.
Speaking to reporters (h/t BBC), Ten Hag voiced criticism about the number of games that force players to participate each year. He said:
“Every manager is complaining about the schedule. On Thursday I heard the statements of Thomas Tuchel, every manager, but still they keep adding games to the schedule. Next year they will add two more games and we have already achieved the limits. I think we have already crossed the limits of what players can handle.”
Going into the November international break, the Premier League clubs registered 103 injured players in total. The three international breaks since the beginning of this season have put further strain on managers to supervise game time.
Apart from the injury crisis, the Red Devils have suffered from poor individual performances from their core players. The lack of rotation due to limited options has left Ten Hag in a very complicated situation.
The Dutchman need to choose between game management of important players and the importance of a particular game. United will travel to the hostile RAMS Park Stadium to face Galatasaray in a must-win Champions League game in mid-week.
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The Red Devils are going to face Newcastle United, Chelsea, Bayern Munich, Liverpool, West Ham and Aston Villa in December. Each of these fixtures is crucial and every game is a must-win after their poor start of the season.
The Manchester giants are chasing top four in the Premier League alongside their bid to make it through to the Champions League knockout stages. Anything less will be an unacceptable failure for a club of United’s stature and for a perfectionist like Ten Hag.