After a 3-1 defeat against Arsenal, featuring goals from Martin Odegaard, Declan Rice, and Gabriel Jesus that overturned Marcus Rashford’s initial strike, all eyes turned to a sideline drama at Manchester United. Jadon Sancho, who had appeared in every previous Premier League match this season, was notably absent from the squad.
When questioned about Sancho’s absence, Ten Hag didn’t mince words: “Jadon, on his performances in training we did not select him,” he stated. “You have to reach a level every day at Manchester United and we can make choices in the front line. So for this game he was not selected.”
Sancho promptly took to social media site X, formerly Twitter, to counter his manager’s claims. “Please don’t believe everything you read! I will not allow people saying things that is (sic) completely untrue, I have conducted myself in training very well this week,” he wrote. The winger also insinuated there were other reasons for his exclusion, adding, “I believe there are other reasons for this matter that I won’t go into, l’ve been a scapegoat for a long time which isn’t fair!”
According to ESPN, Ten Hag was informed of Sancho’s comments during the return trip to Manchester but opted not to retract his previous statement. He remains steadfast that Sancho was left out due to his training ground performance.
This isn’t the first time Ten Hag has shown his iron will; he has already made bold moves by cutting Cristiano Ronaldo and David De Gea from the squad, along with five other players upon his summer arrival. Ronaldo was particularly vocal in his criticism of Ten Hag during an interview with Piers Morgan but was not offered a route back into the team.
Sancho now has the international break to prove himself at Carrington, as he aims to secure his spot for the upcoming match against Brighton. Whether he can win over Ten Hag remains to be seen.