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"United Hospital". Mancunians Suffer Catastrophe During the Season

The reason for the failures of the ten Hag team has been found. In the current season, the "Red Devils" missed 277 matches due to injuries. That's more than seven rounds of the Premier League!

Since the beginning of the season, Manchester United has recorded 46 cases of injuries, damages, and illnesses of footballers (players were absent for 1052 days). Considering the existing gaming problems, the situation is catastrophic. Only four starting lineup players did not miss games for these reasons - André Onana, Diogo Dalot, Bruno Fernandes, and Alejandro Garnacho.

The minimum number of unavailable players on match day is four. In the first 30 matches of the season (Manchester United has played a total of 38 games so far), head coach Erik ten Hag only twice fielded the same starting lineup in a row, and he used 19 defensive variants!

The situation was so dire that ten Hag even investigated the causes. However, having identified various factors, we still needed to find a clear answer.

Muscle Injuries

One might think that the wave of injuries is related to the careless work of the coaching staff, overloading their charges, and they all uniformly suffer muscle injuries. This explanation is confirmed to some extent: at first - in August-September - four players experienced such problems. But then there were no similar situations (only two cases).

Shortsighted Decisions

The club became concerned about the players' health issues three years ago. Zone7, a company specializing in data collection and then providing individual training recommendations based on them to each player, managed to interest the Manchester United management with its program. Still, after six months of use, they decided to abandon it. Although its cost for a year is lower than the weekly salary of a starting lineup player.
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Liverpool, for example, started using it around the same time and significantly reduced the number of injuries by a third in the next season. The system could be better; year by year, it doesn't necessarily improve, but overall, it yields results.

In March 2022, a new position was created at Manchester United - Director of Data Science. Dominic Jordan took this position, insisting that money would be better spent developing their program, similar to Zone7. Apparently, it has yet to yield the desired results.

A Lot of Work

According to the British press, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, who recently bought a quarter of the club's shares, approved a massive restructuring of the medical department as part of a new strategy that will lead to significant changes throughout the club.

Gerry O'Driscoll has been given the green light for a significant overhaul of the entire medical staff of Manchester United. This will likely lead to several personnel changes. It is worth noting that the new head of the club's medical service (responsible for the first and women's teams and the academy) moved from a similar position at Arsenal in the summer, where he had worked for over 15 years.
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He is one of the most experienced and respected specialists in this field in England, so he will indeed have time and freedom in decision-making. He will have plenty of work shortly due to the number of injuries.

Until the expected changes occur, ten Hag must develop non-standard solutions. For example, in the last game against City, he was forced to experiment on the left flank: Victor Lindelöf played in defense, and Bruno Fernandes played in midfield.

Considering the catastrophic problems not dependent on the coaching staff, the Dutch coach no longer seems to be such an obvious culprit for Manchester United's sixth place in the table.

Published by Patrick Jane