Erik ten Hag takes aim at Arsenal fitness record
Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag has suggested that there has been only one occasion this season when he has had a fully available squad to choose, while taking a swipe at Arsenal by claiming they have had no such problems.
Ten Hag has lost Christian Eriksen and Alejandro Garnacho for most of the rest of the season due to impact injuries resulting from tackles. Illness has been a battle throughout the winter, while Casemiro is just about to embark on a four-game domestic suspension.
“When you see all season, we have had some setbacks, every time we've dealt with it. It's about the players who are available and every time there's a team on the pitch who deals with it,” he said.
“In just one game we had the squad available totally and I was able to pick my team, from a tactical approach, perfectly - that was against Manchester City at home this season. Every other time it's been one player suspended, injured, or unavailable through illness.”
The Dutchman then took aim at Arsenal, who are rising high at the top of the Premier League and remain on course to secure a first title in 19 years.
“We have to deal with it well but Arsenal, all the time their squad is totally available,” he jibed.
That statement isn’t entirely true. Even if the Gunners have coped relatively well in terms of fitness and player availability this season, they have only just got £45m summer signing Gabriel Jesus back from a lengthy layoff, while Emile Smith Rowe missed a few months after groin surgery.
On this edition of The Promised Land, part of the 90min podcast network, Scott Saunders and Rob Blanchette discuss the possibility of Lisandro Martinez covering the suspended Casemiro in midfield, Antony's recent form, Jadon Sancho, Harry Kane and more. If you can't see this embed, click here to listen to the podcast!