Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has taken a subtle shot at Arsenal amid the Gunners’ title charge.
Mikel Arteta’s men are five points clear at the top of the Premier League table as things stand, and they are serious title candidates as we approach the final run-in. The same can’t be said of United, who look likely to bag a top-four finish, but they are 11 points behind Manchester City in second, albeit they do have a game in-hand to play.
United have had their fair share of injuries this season, though not to the level of Liverpool or some of their Premier League rivals. Casemiro picking up two red cards, and indeed other players getting suspended, hasn’t helped their case, either. When asked about that factor, United boss Ten Hag sent a subtle dig to Arsenal, suggesting the availability of their players is one of the biggest factos behind their title charge.
He said: “I think we have only had one game when we have had the full squad available. Every other time in the season we have had a player suspended, injured or ill. Of course you see Arsenal and they almost have a full squad available all the time.”
There isn’t anything innately offensive about that comment, but it does suggest that the availability of players is down to luck and luck only. In reality, Arsenal’s medical team deserve plenty of credit for the work they have done to keep players available, while the players deserve praise for staying out of trouble with referees.
Beyond that, it’s also worth pointing out that Arsenal went around three months without star signing Gabriel Jesus, who was vital in the early stages of the campaign, with the stiker picking up an injury during the World Cup. Meanwhile, the Gunners have now lost Eddie Nketiah for a few weeks, leaving them pretty short again up top.