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Erik ten Hag pinpoints reason for Manchester United’s injury problems this season ahead of Chelsea tie

Too much football responsible for the injuries, says Erik ten Hag
Too much football responsible for the injuries, says Erik ten Hag

Too much football responsible for the injuries, says Erik ten Hag

As quoted by The Independent, Erik ten Hag believes the injuries his players have suffered this season are more down to the amount of football they have had to play over the last year and not his training regimen.

United players have accumulated 53 injuries or illnesses so far this season, further hindering their chances of retaining a top-four spot in the Premier League.

The 54-year-old has defended his training regimen as well as his decision to not have on board a specialist fitness coach.

“We don’t train too hard. We need to be fit. With the standards in this league, you need to be fit. Otherwise you can’t match the standards you are required in a game. We don’t train too hard.”

“We have good departments, we have good people around with a lot of knowledge. Based on data we make our decisions.”

The Dutchman believes the 62 games his side played last season across all competitions have brought about long-term fatigue, which is causing more fatigue-based injuries.

Apart from winning the Carabao Cup last year, United also reached the Europa League quarter-finals and the FA Cup final. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Apart from winning the Carabao Cup last year, United also reached the Europa League quarter-finals and the FA Cup final. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

“I know that it still has an effect, the huge amount of games we had in the last 18 months. That still has an impact on our squad, the accumulation on the players.”

He has also singled out his captain, Bruno Fernandes, for being available throughout the season.

“You need very robust players. That is the requirement. I think we have more players who are very robust like Bruno is. But that is the type of player you need.”

He also thinks players going away on international duty every few months does not help the club coaches, using Man City as an example.

“You see this weekend, City is playing without [Kyle] Walker, without [John] Stones. The levels were dropping without them. There was a different team to what we faced. The levels for teams will keep dropping if you keep going in this process we are in, overloading the international competition.

“We have national teams five times a year you give the players away and you don’t have any impact. Some national teams we have very good connections and we manage the programmes but there are also others that do what they want. You don’t have anything in hand on what they are doing there.”

Ten Hag’s right, but not blameless

Erik ten Hag is right in pointing out that players are being subjected to too many football games, which is not good for them in the long term, but not having a specialist fitness coach in this day and age is not a luxury anymore: it’s a crucial requirement.

You cannot indirectly blame players for getting injured by praising those who are not getting injured, especially when you have decided to not have a fitness specialist in your setup and demand high-octane off-ball movement from your players.

More Manchester United News-

The unreasonably high amount of matches players are playing every year now is a much bigger issue for football in general and is bound to result in a breaking point sooner or later.

Written by Anshuman Joshi

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