Manchester United Players Demand Day Off After Crushing Defeat by Fulham

Manchester United Players Request Sunday Off After Defeat Despite Manager's Routine

A group of Manchester United players voiced their desire for a day off on Sunday following their 2-1 defeat to Fulham on Saturday, a departure from the usual post-match routine under manager Erik ten Hag, which includes warm-downs and video analysis sessions. The request came as a surprise, considering the lackluster performance against Fulham, and was promptly denied by the coaching staff, who reminded the players of their professional obligations. Ten Hag was reportedly unaware of the players’ plea.

In November, The Guardian reported that some members of the United squad attributed the team’s slow start to the season to Ten Hag’s intense pre-season training regime. Players expressed feeling fatigued at the beginning of the campaign, likening their energy levels to those at the end of the previous season. The defeat to Fulham halted United’s five-match winning streak, the most successful run in what has been a turbulent season. With the team currently sixth in the table, eight points adrift of fourth-placed Aston Villa, Ten Hag faces increased scrutiny, especially in light of Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s recent acquisition of a 27.7% stake in the club.

Ratcliffe, the owner of Ineos, is spearheading a structural review at United, with significant changes already underway. Omar Berrada has been appointed as the new CEO, and there are plans to bring in Dan Ashworth from Newcastle to replace John Murtough as the head of the football department. Murtough is expected to be offered a different role within the club, and he will need to decide whether to accept the new position.

Ahead of the FA Cup fifth-round clash with Nottingham Forest, Ten Hag responded to criticism from pundit Jamie Carragher, who had questioned the manager’s tactics on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football. While Ten Hag dismissed Carragher’s bias, he acknowledged that the pundit’s assessment of United’s defensive frailties in the Fulham game was valid. The Dutchman emphasized the need to find solutions to counteract opponents’ tactical surprises.

Despite opting to start Omari Forson over Antony on the right wing against Fulham, Ten Hag expressed his confidence in the 19-year-old Brazilian forward. He praised Antony’s exceptional abilities and resilience, highlighting his potential to make a significant impact once given the opportunity to showcase his talents on the field. Ten Hag reiterated his support for Antony and encouraged him to seize his chance and deliver standout performances for the team.

John O Mahony

John O Mahony

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