Friday, December 8News That Matters

Erik ten Hag aims swipe at Arsenal & suggests Arteta has been lucky with injuries

Manchester United head coach Erik ten Hag has aimed a swipe at Arsenal, suggesting Mikel Arteta’s side have been lucky with injuries this campaign.

The Red Devils are still competing on three fronts this season having won the Carabao Cup but injuries and suspensions are threatening to take their toll.

Ten Hag has had to contend with long-term absentees in Christian Eriksen and Van de Beek with Garnacho joining them on the sidelines this week after suffering an ankle injury in the draw with Southampton.

Antony is set to miss Thursday’s game with Real Betis through illness while Anthony Martial is another who has not travelled with his fitness issues persisting having started only one game in 2023.

Ten Hag’s cause has not been helped by suspensions with Casemiro set to miss the next four domestic fixtures after being sent off against Southampton. And he has already missed four games through suspension this season.

Ten Hag insisted he has only had an injury and illness free squad to choose from once this season – for the 2-1 victory over Manchester City.

Comparing his luck to other Premier League teams, ten Hag pointed to Arsenal and said Mikel Arteta has had an ‘almost’ completely fit squad to choose from this campaign.

‘Only in one game could I say, ok I can pick my team, also from a tactical approach, that was perfect,’ ten Hag said.

‘That was against Man City at home. And that was the only time in this season.

‘In other times, in every game, it was one player suspended, one player is injured or [has] illness, so we have to deal with it well but of course you hope, like I see with Arsenal, that they almost have all the time their squad available.’

But Gabriel Jesus has not started for Arsenal since November, coming off the bench for his first match since recovering from knee surgery against Fulham.

Emile Smith Rowe has also been a long-term absentee this campaign with Nketiah missing the Gunners’ last three games and still ‘a few weeks away’ from his return.

Thomas Partey also missed recent games against Man City and Aston Villa through injury.

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