MARK LEATHER: Ten Hag cancelled day off to send out a firm message

PHYSIO INSIGHT: I suspect Erik ten Hag called Manchester United’s players in for extra training on their day off out of embarrassment and a ploy to let the wider world know that their performance was unacceptable

  • Erik ten Hag sent out a firm message to his Manchester United players on Sunday
  • The United boss elected to cancel the team’s day off after the defeat to Brentford
  • Too many players are underperforming and some do not want to be there 

I’ve seen this at all levels of football where your day off is cancelled and you’re called in.

In this instance, I suspect it’s out of embarrassment and a ploy to let the wider world — including United’s huge fanbase — know it’s unacceptable to play in the way that they did. Something is going to be done about it. 

Erik ten Hag will feel let down by some players who are seemingly going through the motions, but that clearly doesn’t apply to all the squad. One or two may have done more than the others against Brentford on Saturday.

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

Do you punish just some of the players when ultimately everybody’s in it together?

I’ve never seen it. If you’ve played in a performance like that, you’re all in. You’ve lost as a team and therefore you get punished as a team.

Privately each one of them will be going through a crisis. The goalkeeper David de Gea won’t be happy with the way he performed in the game and it will be the same with most of his team-mates. If it keeps occurring then something is not quite right.

David de Gea, along with many of his team-mates, will not be happy with his performance

Too many of United’s players are underperforming and some of them do not want to be there

Too many are not performing. Some of them are at the end of their tether and don’t want to be there. 

That’s not the fault of the new manager, it’s long-standing and when you see players who are perceived to be leaders crumbling then you know you’re in trouble. 

They can probably smell it themselves. However, sometimes beating them with a stick isn’t always the answer.




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