A Los Angeles-based doctor who specializes in sports science says Erik ten Hag risked injuring his Manchester United players by making them run 13.8km in the heat on their day off.
Sportsmail reported how a furious Ten Hag made his team cover the exact distance Brentford outscored his side as the Bees beat United 4-0 in Saturday’s late game – the shock result of the Premier League weekend.
The Dutchman scrapped a planned day off for the Red Devils to unleash his fury on the team but according to Dr Rajpal Brar, he risked doing more harm than good to his players.
Responding to the reports initially on Twitter, Brar said: “If true, I assume the sports science and physio staff intervened. That’s how you get players in the red zone and/or injured.’
The “red zone” is when an athlete reaches 90-100 percent of their maximum heart rate, meaning they are also at maximum effort and exertion.
And later, speaking to Sportsmail, Dr Brar expanded on his thoughts: ‘In terms of rest/recovery and risk of injury – think of your body as a bucket.
‘Activity adds water to the bucket while rest and recovery removes it. With the wrong balance of the two, the bucket will overflow (or at the other end, be bone dry, which you don’t want either).
Erik ten Hag axed Manchester United’s planned day off after Brentford’s 4-0 defeat.
Ten Hag made the United squad run 13.8km – as much as Brentford outscored them in the defeat
Responding to the reports, Dr. Rajpal Brar said that Ten Hag risked injuring players
Dr Brar said the Ten Hag penalty could catch up to players in later games
‘Playing in a high-level football match adds significantly to that bucket and adding another day of running on the following day – there’s a reason it was a scheduled rest day – can lead to that overflow and potential injury risk. Maybe not during the session but in following matches. The “red zone” is basically that state of high fatigue and elevated injury risk.
“The performance and the physical/mental state of the elite soccer players are closely monitored by the sports science and medical teams for a reason and training programs, lineup decisions, etc. are tailored around them.”
Ten Hag arrived early at United’s Carrington training base on Sunday to put the United team through the bell before leading an inquiry into the Brentford result.
The temperature was 30C in Manchester on Sunday – 86 Fahrenheit.
But Ten Hag must find answers to his team’s terrible play, and fast. United face fierce rivals Liverpool next Monday August 22 at Old Trafford and Jurgen Klopp’s side beat United 5-0 there last season.
There have been concerns about the standard that United have trained in recent weeks and those concerns have been compounded by Saturday’s emphatic defeat, which puts United last in the Premier League.
There are also fears that Cristiano Ronaldo’s attitude is having a negative impact.
Although Ronaldo is said to be training well, he exchanged words with Ten Hag’s No.2 Steve McClaren at the final whistle after refusing to applaud United’s traveling fans at Brentford. There is a feeling that his mood has a negative effect on the dressing room.
However, United dismissed suggestions that Ronaldo’s contract could be terminated and reiterated that he remains at the club.
It comes after the season started with a 2-1 loss to Brighton at Old Trafford and Ten Hag is now the first United manager in over a century to lose his first two games.
He was visibly furious with his team’s performance on Saturday night.
– It’s rubbish, and it’s poor. We need higher standards than that, that’s clear,’ he said BeIN Sports.
– We have to deliver and we didn’t. We have to change, that much is clear.
’35 minutes you concede four goals. It is not possible. The team must take the responsibility. I’m so sorry for the fans. We let them down.’
There are concerns about Cristiano Ronaldo’s attitude and its impact in the United dressing room
Ten Hag lost his first two games as United manager and it doesn’t get any easier with Liverpool after that
Club chiefs have so far failed in their attempts to hand their new coach the players he requested during the summer transfer window, with their hunt for Frenkie de Jong still ongoing.
United legend Rio Ferdinand defended Ten Hag on Saturday night but said United’s pursuit of De Jong was bordering on begging.
He said: “I don’t feel sorry for the players, I feel sorry for Ten Hag”, said Ferdinand. – He comes under false pretenses. He will come expected new signings.
‘He’s probably sitting there thinking “I’ve been sold a dummy here. I didn’t know I was getting into this”. Confidence, I know, will be low.
“He knew that but he thought ‘I can rebuild that’, but obviously the players are not at the standard required. Simple as that.’
Regarding the pursuit of De Jong, Ferdinand said: “We are almost hunting ourselves for this player.
– For three months in the transfer window, with our cap outside begging, “please come to us, please come to us.”
United are last in the Premier League standings and are already in crisis after two games
‘They walked around behind him, begging him (de Jong), “please turn around and notice us, please turn around and notice us.” And he looks around and says “not for me.”
– And we are still there; “please give us one chance.” How do we put ourselves in that position? How do we allow ourselves to be put in such a position?
– Do you think that Klopp or Pep or Sir Alex or Jose would follow around such a player? They wouldn’t do that!’