Erik ten Hag snipes at Premier League leaders Arsenal's injury record

‘All the time their squad is totally available’: Erik ten Hag snipes at Mikel Arteta’s Premier League leaders’ injury record as he bemoans Man United’s, claiming he has only ONCE had all his players fit this season

  • Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag claims his side have dealt with ‘setbacks’
  • They travel to Real Betis on Thursday with a 4-1 lead from the first leg at home
  • Ten Hag claims Casemiro and Bruno Fernandes will start despite suspension risk 

Erik ten Hag bemoaned his side’s injury woes this season ahead of Thursday’s Europa League clash with Real Betis, claiming that the likes of Arsenal have had a far easier time with setbacks this term. 

The Manchester United boss suggested that his squad have only been wholly match-fit and available for selection on one occasion throughout the 2022-23 campaign, in their stunning 2-1 win over Manchester City at Old Trafford. 

Many of the Red Devils’ regular stars have managed to stay relatively injury free for the majority of the season, such as Bruno Fernandes and Marcus Rashford, but Alejandro has recently picked up an ankle injury. 

The Argentine is reported to be out for weeks, rather than months, but had asserted himself as a key member of the squad, although January loan signing Marcel Sabitzer was pictured back in training ahead of the Betis clash. 

The Gunners meanwhile were without their star striker Gabriel Jesus since November before his recent recovery and Emile Smith Rowe has spent much of the season out of action.  

Erik ten Hag bemoaned his side’s injury woes this season and compared them to rivals Arsenal

The Dutchman claimed Mikel Arteta has often been able to call upon his full squad despite long-term absences including Gabriel Jesus and Emile Smith Rowe

‘When you see all season we have had some setbacks, every time we’ve dealt with it,’ Ten Hag said. ‘It’s about the players who are available and every time there’s a team on the pitch who deals with it. 

‘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.

‘We have to deal with it well but Arsenal, all the time their squad is totally available.’

United travel to Seville to take on Betis in the second leg of their Europa League knockout tie, taking a 4-1 win from the first meeting at Old Trafford last week. 

However, despite both Casemiro and Fernandes both being on a yellow card already – and therefore at risk of suspension – Ten Hag claimed he will start both players on Thursday evening. 

‘They will both play because it’s a very good opponent,’ said Ten Hag. ‘Last week we had a good result, but you need your best players.

The Red Devils take a commanding lead 4-1 from the first leg against Betis but will still start Bruno Fernandes and Casemiro 

United will be without Alejandro Garnacho, who suffered a serious ankle injury that will keep him out for several weeks

‘It’s always serious. We will play our best team. Definitely we have to put out a team that can adapt during the game. We know our opponent has really good players and a lot of variations. We have to be ready for that and go and battle with them.’ 

The Brazilian midfielder – who had never picked up a straight red in nine years on the books at Real Madrid – received a second sending off in just over one month in March against Southampton, and will miss the next four Premier League games.

United’s other domestic rivals Liverpool and Chelsea have also been crippled by injury problems, with the Reds missing Luis Diaz, Diogo Jota, Virgil van Dijk and Thiago across the campaign. 

Graham Potter has also been without stars Mateo Kovacic, Reece James and N’Golo Kante for large spells in 2022-23. 


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