Manchester United have lost 10 games in all competitions this season and Erik ten Hag is losing support from within as some players become disillusioned with his methods and handling of Jadon Sancho
Tuesday 5 December 2023 07:27, UK
Erik ten Hag has lost elements of the dressing room at Manchester United, with players questioning his playing style and treatment of Jadon Sancho, according to Sky Sports News chief reporter Kaveh Solhekol.
A group of players is becoming disenchanted with the Dutchman after United slumped to an abject 1-0 defeat at Newcastle on Saturday - their 10th loss of the season in all competitions.
One source has claimed Ten Hag has lost 50 per cent of the dressing room, with his refusal to act on concerns voiced by United's players and the continued exile of Sancho cited as factors.
"My information is that some of the players are confused with what is happening. He has lost elements of the dressing room. One source tells me that he's lost about 50 per cent of the dressing room," chief reporter Solhekol said.
"Quite a few players are unhappy with the style of play, they also feel that they're training too hard and that they're running too much during training. I was told that the players don't know what they're running for.
"Also, some senior players have spoken to Erik ten Hag about where they feel the club is going wrong. They've spoken to him about their other experiences of playing for big clubs, and they feel that the manager should be a little bit more touchy-feely.
"They feel his man-management could be a little bit better, but Erik ten Hag is the boss and he's the one who calls the shots. He is not for turning. He is going to do things his way.
"I've also been told that a few of the players believe that he is too set in his ways and he's too robotic."
Ten Hag has also lost support in the United dressing room over the ongoing stand-off with Sancho, who has not featured for the club since August after declaring on social media he has "been a scapegoat for a long time".
"A few of the players are also unhappy at how Jadon Sancho has been treated," Solhekol added. "He's got people in the dressing room who are close to him and he's been totally frozen out because he's refused to apologise to Erik ten Hag.
"He's training with the kids and he's eating on his own. Quite a few of the players feel like that has gone too far. There's always unhappy people in a dressing room, but when you're losing games, there are even more of them."
Despite the claims that Manchester United's players believe they are 'running too hard' in training, the stats around their recent performances do not suggest they are being overworked.
Man Utd's pressing stats for the season so far in the Premier League are among the lowest in the Premier League. For 'total pressures', United rank just 13th, and their number of pressures resulting in turnovers - 411 - is 16th out of the 20 clubs.
Nor are their trends showing signs of improvement. Quite the reverse, in fact: United average 110.8km for distance run in the Premier League this term, putting them 12th in the rankings.
But against Newcastle on Saturday, the United players were recorded as running just 103.4km. In 280 top-flight matches this term, a team has only run less on 20 occasions.