MARK LEATHER INSIGHT: Erik ten Hag canceled day off to send messages to Manchester United players

Erik ten Hag sent a clear message to his players by canceling the team's planned rest day

PHYSICAL VISIT: Erik ten Hag will have summoned Manchester United’s players for extra training on their day off as an embarrassment and a ploy to let the wider world know their performance was unacceptable.

  • Erik ten Hag sent a strong message to his Manchester United players on Sunday
  • The United manager decided to cancel the team’s day off after the Brentford defeat
  • There are too many players who are underperforming and some don’t want to be there

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag furiously canceled a day off for his players after their 4-0 draw against Brentford on Saturday.

He wanted them to run at least 13.8 kilometres, the same distance the bees overcame at Brentford Community Stadium.

Below, the former Liverpool and Bolton physio opens up to MARK LEATHER Sports mail on the physical and mental challenges facing United’s stars after new boss Ten Hag brought them in for extra training.

Erik ten Hag sent a clear message to his players by canceling the team’s planned rest day

I’ve seen it at all levels of football where your day off is canceled and you get called out. A coach has decided that the players are training or sitting around watching X-rated video clips from the previous day.

In this case, I suspect it is down to shame and a ploy to let the wider world, including United’s large fan base, know that it is unacceptable to play the way they did. Something will be done about it.

You’ll be let down by people who are perceived to be going through the motions, but obviously that won’t be every player. One or two may have done more than their average against Brentford.

Do you divide the team when they are all together? I’ve never seen it. If you’ve played in a performance like this, you’re all in. You lost as a team and you are punished as a team.

You run the risk of alienating certain players who don’t like this, it sure will. Players don’t like to run at the best of times.

David de Gea, along with many of his teammates, will not be happy with his performance

David de Gea, along with many of his teammates, will not be happy with his performance

But would it make a huge difference in terms of physical recovery? No, I probably wouldn’t unless there’s a midweek game.

This is not just a 12-minute race around the old school track, it will be done in a rational and scientific manner.

What needs to be taken into account is the weather. The silent killer of fatigue is not just the run itself or the extra work. It has been extremely hot and humid, and will have taken them out a bit more than normal.

But this will be a culture shock for some of them. Certainly, in that club, it would not have been the norm to bring them and lead them.

Then there is the mental part: stress, anxiety, worry and pressure. Possibly not even happy with themselves.

There are too many United players who are underperforming and some of them don’t want to be there

You can’t tell us that some players have been happy with their performance for a long time, it’s common at all clubs. Someone has been in foreclosure for months.

Privately, each of them will experience a crisis. The goalkeeper (David de Gea) will not be happy with his performance in that game, and neither will most of the players. If it keeps happening, something is wrong.

None of them are bad players, but many are either not doing or going through a slump. They can’t get them out of this big hole they’ve fallen into.

Some of them are at the end and don’t want to be there. It would be a relief for some of them mentally to be out of the pressure cooker. This is not the new manager, he is long standing.

When you see the perceived leaders crumble, you know you’re in trouble. They can probably smell it themselves in the locker room. they know Sometimes hitting them with a stick isn’t the answer.


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