Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has been accused of failing to treat his players equally after it was reported that some members of his squad were growing tired of his regular criticism. The Dutchman has endured a torrid start to his second campaign in charge of the Red Devils, who have lost four of their opening eight Premier League matches.
It has not been all plain sailing for Ten Hag on or off the pitch, with the Manchester Evening News reporting last month that several players were growing ‘weary’ with his approach to man-management. It was said that many first-team squad members felt that Ten Hag had ‘favourites’ who were often immune to criticism, while others were ‘routinely rounded on’ by the manager.
Former Tottenham boss Tim Sherwood has since accused Ten Hag of showing favouritism towards Raphael Varane, who he described as ‘bang average’ before suggesting that United’s players are not being judged on an equal footing.
“One player that really annoys me is Raphael Varane, I think he is getting away with it,” Sherwood told William Hill. “He is never fit and when he is fit he’s bang average. We all know he’s had a great career but at the same time everyone is happy to jump on the back of Harry Maguire whilst Varane just gets away with it.
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“The ones who play more football are simply more durable and they can play week in week out. Varane seems to play once and then be injured again for two weeks. He seems to be picking his games, but when he plays he’s not that brilliant anyway.
“Ten Hag is not judging players equally and he’s just chucking people onto the pitch and hoping one of the superstars wins him the match. As soon as one of the superstars is fit, he takes the likes of Hannibal [Mejbri] and [Scott] McTominay out of the team and they end up losing football matches.”
Sherwood went on to insist that Ten Hag cannot blame his own shortcomings on United’s ownership situation, which he believes is a ‘get out of jail free card’ that does not explain why the Red Devils have been struggling on the pitch.
“When people talk about the Glazers being the problem at Manchester United it’s almost like a get out of jail free card,” he added. “It doesn’t matter about the owners or the chief executive. What matters is that their set of players got outplayed by a team towards the bottom of the league, and that has happened multiple times this season.
“That is down to the manager. You’re always going to win games when you have the likes of Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford at your disposal, but the manager’s job is to improve players and he’s not improving anyone.”
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