Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag risks angering certain members of his squad with comments made after the club’s 4-3 Champions League loss to Bayern Munich in midweek.
The Red Devils slipped to a fourth defeat in five matches at the Allianz Arena, prompting criticism from the former Ajax coach towards the squad.
Ten Hag has already fallen out with Jadon Sancho following comments the manager made following a Premier League encounter against Arsenal in August. The winger responded with a social media post claiming that he felt he had been made a “scapegoat”, and though he has since deleted that, he remains in dispute with the Dutchman.
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There is no prospect of Sancho returning to action against Burnley this weekend, and Ten Hag even suggested that he could be sold in his pre-match press conference.
“It depends on him. For the rest, we are preparing for Burnley and that is our focus. Sancho will not be in the squad,” he told the media.
Man Utd squad accuse Ten Hag of favouritism
Ten Hag’s relationship with the squad appears fragile with the Manchester Evening News reporting that certain players were unhappy with the manager’s words after the loss against Bayern.
“You have to look in the mirror because the goals were easy giveaways,” Ten Hag said. “We were in the first 25 minutes better in the game than Munich and then that goal, it was so easy and it was not only Andre.
“If you see how easy Sane is going through and that has to do with determination, you don’t let players through so easy. That is the point – we have to cross the line as an individual and as a team to win games because it started there.
“That’s what I mean, you have to suffer, sacrifice in situations, to give everything and to stop that and only when we get that in are we going to win games.
“The way Sane came through can’t be. And the second goal; it’s almost similar over the other side. How easy players come through our box and to finish, it can’t be.”
According to the report “a number of Manchester United players are starting to grow weary of Erik ten Hag’s criticism”.
Furthermore, according to sources, “some players believe Ten Hag has favourites in the squad who he is unprepared to single out for criticism while they feel others are routinely rounded on”.
Ten Hag’s position at Man Utd appears to be growing increasingly fragile.