Last week, the Man Utd manager openly criticized his winger, and two former players think it was a managerial ploy.
Rio Ferdinand, a former defender for Manchester United, thinks Erik ten Hag is pressuring Jadon Sancho to respond to his criticism of training performance.
After Sancho was omitted from the United team for their 3-1 loss at Arsenal on Sunday, Ten Hag made the decision to criticize him. Insisting that his winger hadn’t demonstrated enough in practice to be involved, the Dutchman received pushback from the player as well as the general public.
Sancho responded right away on social media, claiming that he was being used as a scapegoat and that his performances were sufficient. Both parties appear to be holding their position, although they will likely meet for talks in the coming days.
There have been rumors as to why Ten Hag chose to publicly criticize one of his players, especially after the coach disclosed last season that the player had been out for such a lengthy time for “physical and mental” reasons. Ferdinand also thinks it’s a last-ditch effort to inspire a player who hasn’t yet found his best form while wearing a red jersey.
Ferdinand told TNT Sports, “I believe [Ten Hag] is figuring out a way to trigger his player to achieve a favorable outcome on the field, to get a performance on the field, and to continuously produce those performances.
“I believe he is attempting several strategies, and this is one of them. I believe he is hoping to elicit a response from his player. Each management approaches it differently.
Ryan Giggs, another former United player, has a similar line of thought. The winger asserted that Ten Hag’s final “throw of the dice” was an effort to motivate his player to fight.
He stated on the Webby & O’Neill YouTube channel that “for me, calling him out publicly is probably the last straw, or the last try, to get the best out of Sancho.” The athlete has two options: he can react and decide, “Right, I’ll show him, and show the manager what I’m capable of,” or he can pout and likely won’t progress.
Sancho remains at United despite rumors of late interest from Saudi Arabia, and he probably will do so through at least the January transfer window. The fact that the 23-year-old had the most playing time throughout the preseason and occasionally displayed quality suggests that Ten Hag still values him.
Ferdinand also thinks that player and manager need to work things out for the good of the team while the majority of the team is away on international duty.
Ferdinand continued, “Manager and player will need to have that meeting because they have both made public statements. “Whether or not one likes it, they have already both done it.
“What’s best for Manchester United, what’s best for Sancho, and what’s best for the manager are the current considerations. They must discuss it openly and honestly around a table before coming to a decision. I believe Ten Hag is trying to recruit the United performer he knows is inside Sancho.