Erik ten Hag’s complaints over Manchester United’s fixture congestion have fallen on unsympathetic ears in Brazil after the Dutchman was told to ‘shut up’ by the boss of Palmeiras.
Ten Hag had slammed the scheduling in the wake of their 2-0 win over Everton on Saturday after United played on Wednesday night and then in the early kick-off slot on Saturday.
Star man Marcus Rashford picked up a groin injury during the game, which prompted the 53-year-old’s comments, with the English forward set for a scan to ascertain the extent of the damage.
‘Some things you can’t avoid but this was avoidable. Why was the Premier League giving us the late late Sunday night game and the early Saturday game. I think it is not right,’ he said.
‘You run the risk that players can’t recover that quickly. All the science and research tells you the players need a certain period to recover.
‘No manager at this stage of the season would rotate so much. It was not necessary to set the schedule like this and from a sporting point of view, we want freshness.’
United are currently fighting on three fronts – having already won the Carabao Cup – and face Sevilla on Thursday in the Europa League quarter-finals.
But despite the United boss’ evident outrage, there was no sympathy coming from his fellow manager in Brazil, with Palmeiras’ Abel Ferreira calling for Ten Hag to ‘shut up’.
The record Brazilian Serie A champions played 72 games in 2022, and even if United reach the finals in both the Europa League and FA Cup they will manage 65 – and that after an extra round of fixtures in Europe after beating Barcelona in the play-offs.
‘Football here has fantastic things… But there are others that are inhuman,’ Ferreira told ESPN Brazil.
‘Nine games in one month! The Manchester United coach complained the other day that Rashford was injured due to the sequence of games he has.
‘I’d like to ask him or tell him, “In these next two months, I’m going to have nine games a month…” Shut up, because you don’t know what you say.’
Ferreira’s side are the current Brazilian Serie A holders, and beat Agua Santa in the final of the Paulista – played between the top clubs in Sao Paulo ahead of the league’s start next weekend.
Endrick completed a sensational £51million move to Real Madrid in December, though he will not join Los Blancos until he turns 18 in July 2024.
But Ferreira offered him some words of encouragement after the youngster was reduced to tears after another poor display in Feburary, saying: ‘Yes, it’s true, he covered his face because he cried. I’m not his father, but he should have given him a hug.
‘He has to be calm. Nobody likes criticism. There is tremendous pressure on him to score five or six goals and he tries to deal with it himself. The goal will appear at the right time. You just have to be calm and keep smiling.’