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Erik ten Hag responds to Wayne Rooney’s claim. Manchester United players hide behind injuries: ‘They are determined’ | Football news

Erik ten Hag has launched a defense of his players, claiming Wayne Rooney was wrong to suggest some members of his Manchester United squad are refusing to play.

Speaking as a special guest on Great SundayRooney said he was “100 per cent” convinced some of United’s injured players are fit enough to play, leaving manager Ten Hag “to take all the stick” for poor performances.

United had 10 players injured for their 1-0 defeat at home to Arsenal, which leaves them mired in eighth place, on course for the Premier League’s lowest finish and risking missing out on European football altogether next season.

Under the Ten Hag this season, United have lost 19 games in all competitions, their most since 1978-79, while Sunday’s defeat to the Gunners was their ninth defeat at Old Trafford this season, the most at home in a season.

Wayne Rooney believes some current Manchester United players are injured because they don’t want to be criticized

Asked if United players currently play for Ten Hag, Rooney said Sky Sports: “If they are, I don’t think it looks very good. The performances and there are some good players in that team are well below par.

“As we look at the injuries they’ve had, some of these players can play, 100 percent.

“With the European Championship and an FA Cup final coming up, it’s easy for players to sit out a little bit, come back for the final and make sure they’re ready for the European Championship. I saw this. myself over the years.

“Players who are injured don’t fill any credit at the moment. The manager will take the brunt of it.”

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But speaking at his press conference on Tuesday ahead of Newcastle United’s visit to Old Trafford, the Ten Hag insisted his players will always be available for selection provided they are fit.

“You have to see here in Carrington, the players are desperate to play,” said the beleaguered Dutchman.

“Bruno (Fernandes) did a fitness test on Sunday to play and (Marcus) Rashford did everything he could do. The players are desperate to play. (Victor) Lindelof and (Raphael) Varane are training to be fit make available for the final do what I can do.”



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Bruno Fernandes was absent from the side

Ten Hag are without first-team regulars Fernandes, Rashford, Lisandro Martinez, Harry Maguire, Lindelof, Varane, Luke Shaw and Mason Mount, while Tyrell Malacia and Anthony Martial are long-term absentees.

Scott McTominay returned to the starting line-up from injury on Sunday, while Ten Hag revealed earlier in the week that Argentina defender Martinez had pleaded to play after recovering from a calf problem.

Martinez back in contention to face Newcastle

Erik Ten Hag stubbornly dismissed further questions linking Bruno Fernandes with a summer exit and underlined what a great player he is for Manchester United

Manchester United declined to respond to Rooney’s comments when contacted by Sky Sports News. Ten Hag have confirmed that Martinez is set to return to the squad to face Newcastle.

The Argentine centre-back has managed just 11 appearances since rupturing his metatarsal last April, compounding the problems facing an injury-hit Red Devils defence.

Martinez underwent a second leg surgery in October after returning for the season opener, then was sidelined by knee and calf injuries on his return.

The latter problem has kept Martinez out for the past six weeks, but the centre-back is ready to lift United by returning to the squad for their final home game of the season.

“Licha Martinez, I think he will return to the team,” Ten Hag said. “He has done a few sessions with us and we plan to have him available if everything goes well in training this afternoon. He will return to the team.

“Then for other players we have to see: (Marcus) Rashford, Bruno (Fernandes), Willy Kambwala, if they are fit enough.”

Keane: Not a good sign | Merson: Injuries are no excuse



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Andre Onana has been kept very busy this season

Responding to Rooney’s claims, Sky Sports pundit Roy Keane said: “This is not a good sign. You hope players who are injured are desperate to get back into football.

“There are always a few players at every club who drag their heels with a few injuries. But other players, certainly the ones I’ve played with, will try to quit after a week or two.

“It’s always a concern, but that happens at a lot of clubs, where they have a lack of confidence and don’t rush to be with the team.”

Wayne Rooney, Roy Keane and Paul Merson weigh in on Manchester Utd’s terrible season and discuss whether Erik ten Hag is the right man to take the club forward

Former Arsenal midfielder and Sky Sports’ Paul Merson also weighed in on the debate, insisting United are not yet good enough to compete at the highest level, with or without a full squad.

“You can have 10 or 11 injuries, Luton had 10 or 11 injuries. Chelsea have 10 or 11 injuries, big players like Reece James, who is first choice and captain of the club. And Chelsea are still going to finish higher than them,” he Merson said.

“Newcastle will come here and win this week. I don’t care how many of them are fit next season, there’s no way Manchester United will finish above Arsenal next season. No way. They’re 30 points behind.

“There were 15 members of the United team warming up the players – as many as the players. If I want to play, the physio won’t tell me I’m not playing.

“I played over 700 games of football. If I played 100 games at 100 percent, I would be shocked. I was getting injections, I was taking tablets, I wanted to play football. I wasn’t going to listen to someone else tell me. No I can play.”

Rooney: Man United should give Ten Hag time

Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag remained upbeat despite losing 1-0 to Arsenal and believes his side are still in contention for a successful finish to the campaign.

To qualify for Europe next season, United must finish in the top seven – and are three points behind Chelsea in that position with just two rounds of games remaining – or beat Manchester City in this month’s FA Cup final this one from Wembley.

After the defeat to Arsenal, Ten Hag was pleased with the “attitude” and competitiveness his side showed against the title-chasing Gunners – and believes United fans are behind him.

But Rooney believes some of United’s players are “just trying to get to the end of the season”.

“I think the players have to look at themselves, when you have a manager talking about attitudes and players who don’t have the right to play for Manchester United, that’s a massive insult. If I see my manager saying that, I can’t I would let him ride and ride until the end of the season,” Rooney said.

“I think some players are just trying to get to the end of the season, that’s my take on it. So I feel for him, but that’s his job to make sure the players are right.”

Asked what this result means for Ten Hag’s future, Rooney added: “When you lose games the way they lose games, there are going to be big questions.

“I would personally hope they give him (Ten Hag) time, there are a lot of problems with recruitment, it has not been good for a few years.

“Hopefully he will have time to get it right. But we saw that in 2016 when Louis van Gaal lost his job (after winning the FA Cup), so you never know.”

Keane: United so bad | Merson: A shocking display

Discussing the result, former United captain Keane criticized Ten Hag’s attack, which failed to capitalize on 14 shots – three more than Arsenal – and 145 touches in the final third.

“My disappointment in the last half hour was United. Arsenal have come to Old Trafford over the years and found it difficult, but I bet Arsenal couldn’t believe how bad United were,” said Keane .

“Any pieces of possession they had, the end product and the lack of quality – you talk about the great teams United have had over the years, the players they have had. The last half hour, decision making, no one took anyone out. to make mistakes, to fall, to not pretend to each other.

Roy Keane, Wayne Rooney and Paul Merson reflect on Arsenal’s winning goal and how Manchester United’s Casemiro played a big part in playing Kai Havertz.

“That United team over there… they’re so bad.”

United went into the game with 10 injured players missing – but Merson believes Ten Hag’s side should do better.

“It was shocking,” Merson said of United’s display. “They just had 145 touches in the final third and two shots on goal. One was from Casemiro from 40 yards which I could have saved.

“It’s not good enough, you can’t lose nine games at home, this is Manchester United.”

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