Man United and Sir Jim Ratcliffe told Erik ten Hag decision could fix major dressing room issue

Manchester United co-owner Jim Ratcliffe shakes hands with manager Erik Ten Hag following the Emirates FA Cup Final match between Manchester City and Manchester United at Wembley Stadium on May 25, 2024 in London, England.
-Credit: (Image: Photo by Chris Brunskill/Fantasista/Getty Images)


There are many things that could've been the bane of Erik ten Hag's existence as Manchester United manager this season while his future at the club continues to be bought into question.

With new minority owner Sir Jim Ratcliffe in attendance, the Dutchman managed to secure his second domestic title in two seasons at Old Trafford yesterday afternoon with a dramatic 2-1 win over rivals Manchester City in the FA Cup final at Wembley.

Goals from Alejandro Garnacho and Kobbie Mainoo capped off what has been a tough season for United in the best way possible, with their eighth-place Premier League finish, and therefore lack of European football, having essentially been chalked off by their trophy lift yesterday which secured them a spot in the Europa League for next season.

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Injuries have been a major factor in why the Red Devils have struggled so much this season, with Ten Hag having no choice but to concoct up a myriad of defensive units that have seen players swapped around all over the place throughout the season.

Other long-term issues include Mason Mount, who has found himself stuck on the sidelines numerous times with different problems this season, as well as Casemiro (who had never previously had an muscular injury in his career before his recurring hamstring issue at Man United) on top of Luke Shaw and Harry Maguire who both missed the FA Cup final over the weekend.

However, amid reports suggesting players were worried about Ten Hag's training sessions and the amount of strain players were having to go under in them, Premier Injuries founder Be Dinnery believes that changes in backroom staff can often lead to players suffering season-upon-season.

"There are multiple influences and factors on what, how, where and when," he told football.london, on behalf of Crypto Casino. "One of the most obvious considerations is stability within the club. Chelsea have always been a club with an excellent injury record going back to Guus Hiddink and Jose Mourinho, they were always there or there about having one of the best injury records.

"What the research will show is that changes within the backroom staff will have a serious impact on that injury burden. We started to see a rise in the number of incidents from Thomas Tuchel and then on to Graham Potter. In the space of five-to-six months, the incident levels almost doubled. Then under Frank Lampard, they continued to rise.

"The research will say that if you bring a head coach, it may have some impact because of new training regimes and tactics, but when you’re bringing in additional members of staff then you’ll see a distinct impact. One research paper indicates when we look at hamstring injuries, that burden can almost triple in terms of the changing of head coach and backroom staff.

"I think having that stability moving forward will lower that injury burden. You obviously have players coming into a league for the first time and they’re young. What the data will tell us is it’s incomparable in terms to the demands of the game and the intensity."

Continuing to use Chelsea as an example, Dinnery highlighted two of the Blues stars that have suffered consistently with injuries and how managerial changes at the club and in their medical department under new owner Todd Boehly have negatively affected their fitness.

"A lot of people will talk about distance covered, that hasn’t really changed a great deal, but what has changed is the intensity of the game and the time to recover from those distances," he continued. "You’re having a lot of players who are adapting. You’re almost creating that perfect storm in terms of having an environment that isn’t ideal and having a squad, regardless of how big it is.

"Managers are forced to take risks and make decisions. Factor all of that, the two biggest red flags are fatigue and previous injuries - one of the best indicators for future history. If you’re talking about a squad carrying lots of injuries, that’s going to stretch any squad and players will then be required to play through in certain situations when they’d normally be taken out the firing line.

"A prime example (previous injuries) is Ben Chilwell. We’re talking about a player who’s coming on the back of a fairly significant knee problem and that keeps on happening. Reece James, another example. I did a study at the beginning of the season, James was a one in two player in the PL in terms of his availability. That figure has dropped even further - that was based on the last four seasons.

"To go into a campaign and expect James to play 60%-90% of PL games would have been hard because he hasn’t been anywhere near those levels in the past four years. With no European football, there should have been an opportunity for Pochettino to bed great ideas, build his team and cohesion to move forward with an eye on 2024/25 but because of those problems, he hasn’t been able to do so."