United stars 'blame poor start on Ten Hag overworking them in summer'

Man United stars ‘feel Erik ten Hag overworked the team in pre-season and felt tired beginning the campaign’… with start to 2023-24 marred by a league-high 16 injuries

  • Man United played eight friendlies in 25 days across five countries in pre-season
  • Multiple players reportedly blame their poor start on feeling tired as a result 
  • I was threatened with being STABBED with a Stanley knife at an U12’s game – a former referee tells IAKO 

Some Manchester United players reportedly blame their poor start to the campaign on Erik ten Hag overworking the squad in pre-season.

The disgruntled squad members, including some senior names, felt as jaded beginning this season as they did finishing the last.

United’s pre-season was full-on, consisting of eight friendlies and a higher intensity of training. 

However, The Guardian reports that while multiple players are dissatisfied, they have not escalated their concerns by raising them verbally with management. 

Their league-high total of 16 injuries so far this season has pushed their squad depth to its limit.  

Several players reportedly believe that Erik ten Hag overworked the squad in pre-season 

While the players have not been named, The Guardian understands that multiple are senior

United are still waiting for long-term absentees such as Luke Shaw to return from injury

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An injury-hit year for Man United  

List of injuries across this season (in no particular order): 

Luke Shaw

Tyrell Malacia


Christian Eriksen

Lisandro Martinez

Rasmus Hojlund

Jonny Evans

Aaron Wan-Bissaka

Andre Onana

Amad Diallo

Kobbie Mainoo

Raphael Varane

Mason Mount

Marcus Rashford

Tom Heaton

Sofyan Amrabat 

Across a 25-day period in pre-season, the club squeezed in eight matches played in five different countries, with 16,000 air miles travelled. 

Compare that with the likes of Manchester City, who played just three friendlies before their Community Shield and European Super Cup matches. 

It was a gruelling summer for United and while commercial demands will have played an influential role in scheduling, it is questionable whether it has helped the team.

First they faced Leeds in Norway, before travelling to Edinburgh to take on Lyon. 

They crammed in four fixtures in eight days in the United States, tackling Arsenal, Wrexham, Real Madrid, and Borussia Dortmund, losing three. 

Then, in successive August days, they played against Lens at Old Trafford and Athletic Bilbao in Dublin, although different players were selected for those fixtures. 

When United hit the first Premier League game, their injury list was manageable – Rasmus Hojlund and Tyrell Malacia were the only ‘regulars’ to be affected, while Tom Heaton, Kobbie Mainoo, and Amad Diallo were also confined to the sidelines.

Since then, however, a season demanding competitiveness across domestic competitions and Europe has stretched United’s squad thin.

Luke Shaw, Lisandro Martinez, Raphael Varane, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Casemiro, Sofyan Amrabat, Christian Eriksen, and most recently Andre Onana and Marcus Rashford have all picked up injuries either on club or international duty. 

Ten Hag has steadied the Premier League ship with four wins in five games, but they are bottom of their Champions League group and conceded two late goals to lose 4-3 to Copenhagen in their most recent European game.  

A summer spend of around £200million increased United’s squad depth a moderate amount but it is unclear how big Ten Hag’s war chest will be in January to bring in reinforcements. 

Sir Jim Ratcliffe may be forced to wait until next week to see his £1.3billion, 25 per cent minority stake in the club confirmed.

He is hoping to take control of footballing operations at the club and with a takeover still not complete, it is hard to plan fully for the transfer window. 


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