With Manchester United, Erik ten Hag is an obvious favorite and hasn’t always rotated as much as he could.
Although Manchester United has already played 25 games since the last international break, they still have a busy schedule ahead of them.
Between now and the end of the season, Ten Hag’s team will play at least 15 games, with the option of four more if they win the FA Cup and Europa League.
To get through the remaining games of the season, the United manager will need to make the most of his team, which has not always been the case this year.
Ten Hag has access to a large number of players, but he frequently hesitates to make big changes, preferring to stick with a core of players that have been there during his rule.
This was once again brought to light this week when Swedish international Victor Lindelof took advantage of the chance to talk about his future at the team and show his displeasure with a lack of playing time.
While representing his country, he told reporters, “Of course, you want to play every game, and obviously I haven’t done that this season.” “I play football because I want to play games; I want to play, but I haven’t thought about [transferring away]. Right now, all of my attention is on the national team and, of course, the remaining games of the season with the club. We’ll review everything in the summer to see what works best.
Lindelof’s remarks demonstrate how challenging it is to maintain team morale, and the 28-year-old is fully aware that he has fallen out of favor since Ten Hag took over.
The Swedish defender has appeared in 21 of a possible 46 games this season, which is the fewest of any senior defender in the first-team squad, although he has played more minutes than Harry Maguire, who has made three more appearances. The club captain has been a game-changing substitute and is regularly added in the waning moments to fortify their defense.
This is a problem for the entire United team; Ten Hag has favorites and hasn’t always rotated when given the chance, which isn’t just a problem for Lindelof.
Christian Eriksen is still third in midfield minutes played despite missing two months due to injury and taking part in fewer games than Scott McTominay and Fred.
Another player who might wish to go at the conclusion of the season is McTominay. It’s thought that Newcastle would like to give him a fresh start and a stronger assurance of minutes.
Given his season, it is not surprise that Marcus Rashford is relied upon heavily in the attack, but there have been some concerns about the fact that he has not received much rest for less crucial games.
The quantity of opportunities offered has also fluctuated, with Ten Hag appearing hesitant or possibly afraid to give veteran players with less experience playing time.
Although Ten Hag will undoubtedly contend that he is the only striker available, Wout Wehorst has already played more minutes for the club than Facundo Pellistri and Alejandro Garnacho combined. This is despite the fact that he only joined in January.
The majority of United’s players, who are lucky to be prepared to sacrifice their personal playing time for the benefit of the club, may grow irritated if they don’t feel like they are getting the chance they deserve. But, this is not always the case.
Since every game is now a race against time until the summer window, Lindelof’s remarks emphasize how challenging it is to please everyone.
Ten Hag may have to concede that it’s time to take more chances with his starting lineup because United can’t afford to lose both Lindelof and club captain Maguire, who is already on the edge of departing.