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“I’d never…” Erik ten Hag’s bizarre Manchester United injury claim is just not true



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Credit: Manchester United

Erik ten Hag has made a bizarre claim about Manchester United’s injuries that, when you look back at the season, is just not true.

After multiple poor performances in the Premier League, including a 1-1 draw with Burnley and a 4-0 loss against Crystal Palace, Manchester United turn their heads back to Old Trafford.

They will host Arsenal on their home turf, with Mikel Arteta’s men deep into the climax of what has been a thrilling title race with Manchester City and Liverpool.

Read More: Erik ten Hag picks Arsenal player he wants at Manchester United ahead of Premier League clash

Although Liverpool have dropped off since their FA Cup loss against United in March, Arsenal City have been striking blow for blow throughout the remaining months of the campaign, with just one point between the pair.

However, it must be said that City have a game in hand. They face Fulham on Saturday, 28 hours ahead of kick-off at Old Trafford. Both sides will want to win this fixture, with United also chasing European football for next season.

A big reason for United’s lacklustre performances this season has centred around the injury crisis that has plagued the club for much of this campaign, with the side failing to keep almost all of their key players fit for the majority of the season.

Ten Hag’s claim

However, speaking to reporters on Friday afternoon ahead of the crunch tie against Arsenal, Ten Hag said he would never gamble with a player’s fitness.

“I’d never gamble [with a player’s fitness]; never. It’s about them and their futures. That is the most important thing – about their careers. I have to take responsibility for it.

“Of course, the club is the most important, but the safety of the players, the health of the players, I think that is also always of a high level [of importance].”

He continued, saying: “I don’t take big risks with players now to win on Sunday with the risk they drop out again, but I think it’s not so different in a normal situation if you didn’t have that cup final.”

This just isn’t true

Ten Hag’s words about never gambling on a player’s fitness are a lie. There have been many occasions this season when a player has played despite not being 100 per cent fit or carrying significant injuries.

Just last week, Jonny Evans failed a fitness test just hours before he then played 90 minutes against Crystal Palace during the 4-0 loss at Selhurst Park.

Harry Maguire played through injury multiple times last month before being ruled out last week with another problem, while there have been instances of both Raphaël Varane and Luke Shaw having been taken off at half-time due to injury before starting the next game, getting injured again, and being ruled out for over a month.

Yes, there have been times when Ten Hag has had no choice but to field injured players, and that is acceptable given the circumstances, but claiming that he has never and would never gamble a player’s fitness is simply not true.