Select Manchester United players believe manager Erik ten Hag overworked them during preseason preparations. The players claimed to feel just as worn out at the start of the current campaign as they did in May. The 2022/23 season wrapped up at the end of that month.

The Guardian claims that many of the players to complain about the issue are senior members of the team. However, none of these squad members have reportedly told ten Hag of their concerns. The Dutchman has held a strict line since becoming manager of the Red Devils in 2022. This includes an ongoing feud with star winger Jadon Sancho over the player’s refusal to apologize for public comments regarding the coach.

United scheduled eight summer friendlies in the preseason

United finished the 2022/23 Premier League campaign in third place behind champions Manchester City and Arsenal. Ten Hag believed that his club could contend for the 2023/24 title if his players put in early extra work. This included scheduling eight preseason friendlies in five different countries across the globe.

The Red Devils began their preseason with a matchup against recently relegated Leeds in Norway. They then played French side Lyon a week later in Scotland before heading to the United States. United scheduled four summer friendlies in four separate cities Stateside. This included trips to New Jersey, San Diego, Houston and Las Vegas.

After completing their U.S. tour, the Red Devils then traveled back to their home stadium to host Ligue 1 side Lens. However, the club made the trip to Ireland to face Athletic Bilbao just one day later. This all came after several United players previously played in the 2022 World Cup in Qatar during the middle of the 2022/23 campaign.

Scheduling eight preseason matches was a fairly unusual move by the club. The Red Devils previously played six friendlies the year before and just five during the summer of 2021.

Team has been struggling with fitness after a series of injuries

Although ten Hag assumed his team would be fighting for a Premier League title, United has struggled during the 2023/24 campaign. The club currently sits sixth in the English top flight after winning just seven of their opening 12 league games. They, however, are also struggling in other competitions as well.

The Red Devils were previously smashed 3-0 at home against Newcastle in the Carabao Cup fourth round. They are also finding it difficult to qualify for the knockout round of the Champions League as well. Ten Hag’s group is currently bottom of Group A thanks to surprising losses to Galatasaray and Copenhagen.

Part of the problem at United has been a series of unfortunate injuries to key players. Lisandro Martinez, Rafael Varane, Luke Shaw, Casemiro, Christian Eriksen, Jonny Evans, and Amad Diallo have dealt with various setbacks throughout the early stages of the season.

Marcus Rashford and Andre Onana became the latest Red Devils to be hit by the injury bug. Both players were injured while on international duty with England and Senegal respectively. Ten Hag will be crossing his fingers that many of the overworked squad can recover in time for their next match. United is set to face Everton on Sunday, Nov. 26th.

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