A Los Angeles-based doctor who specializes in sports science says Erik ten Hag risked injury to 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 side cover the exact distance that Brentford outscored his side as the Bees defeated United 4-0 in Saturday’s late game – the shock result of the Premier League weekend.
The Dutchman scrapped the Red Devils’ planned day off to unleash his wrath on the team, but according to Dr Rajpal Brar, he risked doing more harm than good to his players.
Responding to the reports first on Twitter, Brar said: ‘If it’s true I guess the sports science and physio staff intervened. That’s how you get players into the red zone and/or injured.’
The “red zone” is when an athlete reaches 90-100 percent of maximum heart rate, which means they are also at maximum effort and exertion.
And later, speaking to Sportsmail, Dr Brar expanded on his thoughts: ‘When it comes to rest/recovery and injury risk – think of your body as a bucket.
“Activity adds water to the bucket, while rest and recovery remove it. With the wrong balance between the two, the bucket will overflow (or at the other end be bone dry which you don’t want either).
Erik ten Hag canceled Manchester United’s planned day off after the 4-0 loss against Brentford
Ten Hag made the United squad run 13.8km – the amount Brentford outscored them in defeat
Responding to the reports, Dr Rajpal Brar said that Ten Hag has risked harming players
Dr Brar said Ten Hag’s punishment could catch up with players in later games
“Playing in a high-level football game adds significantly to that bucket and adding another day of running the next day – there’s a reason it was a planned rest day – can lead to overflow and potential injury risk. Maybe not during the session, but in subsequent matches. The “red zone” is essentially the state of high fatigue and increased risk of injury.
“Elite soccer players’ activity and physical/mental state are closely monitored by 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 training base in Carrington on Sunday to put the United team through the ringer before leading an examination of the Brentford result.
The temperature was 30C in Manchester on Sunday – 86 Fahrenheit.
But Ten Hag must find an answer to the team’s terrible play, and quickly. United face fierce rivals Liverpool on Monday 22 August at Old Trafford and Jurgen Klopp’s side beat United 5-0 there last season.
There have been concerns over the standard United have been training at in recent weeks, and those concerns were heightened by Saturday’s emphatic defeat which leaves United bottom of the Premier League table.
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 sense that his mood is having a negative effect on the dressing room.
However, United have rejected suggestions that Ronaldo’s contract could be cancelled, and reiterated that he will stay at the club.
It comes after the season started with a 2-1 defeat 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 bad. We need higher standards than that, that’s clear, he said Drive with sports.
“We have to deliver and we didn’t. We have to change, that’s for sure.
“In 35 minutes you concede four goals. It’s not possible. The team must take responsibility. I really feel sorry for the fans. We failed them.
There are concerns about Cristiano Ronaldo’s attitude and its impact on the United dressing room
Ten Hag lost his first two games as United coach and it will not be easier with Liverpool next time
Club bosses have so far failed in their attempts to provide their new manager with the players he has requested during the summer transfer window, while the hunt for Frenkie de Jong is still ongoing.
United legend Rio Ferdinand defended Ten Hag on Saturday night but said United’s pursuit of De Jong has bordered 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 comes expecting new signings.
“He’s probably sitting there thinking “I’ve been sold a dummy here. I didn’t know I was getting into this.” I know my confidence was going to be low.
– He knew that, but he thought “I will be able to build it up again”, but the players are clearly not at the required standard. As simple as that.’
Regarding the pursuit of De Jong, Ferdinand said: “We are almost after this player.
For three months in the transfer window, with his hat out begging, “please come to us, please come to us”.
United are last in the Premier League and are already in crisis after two games
“They’ve been walking 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 a chance.” How do we put ourselves in that position? How do we allow ourselves to be put in such a position?
“Do you think Klopp or Pep or Sir Alex or Jose would follow a player like this? They wouldn’t do that!