Marco van Basten hits out at ‘ridiculous’ Man United decision before PL season

Dutch football legend Marco van Basten has hit out at Man United over their decision to hold pre-season tours prior to the 2022/23 Premier League campaign getting underway.

United appointed Erik ten Hag as their new manager back in April, replacing Ralf Rangnick. Pre-arranged tours of Australia and Thailand represented the Dutchman’s first opportunity to see his side in action over a prolonged period of time – and to install his ideas and beliefs on the squad.

On the pitch, pre-season went exceptionally well for United. Although it was largely the squad that disappointed in the Premier League last season that travelled, the Red Devils still recorded impressive victories over the likes of Liverpool and Melbourne Victory.

Ten Hag micro-managed most of the tour. He introduced new rules aimed at instilling discipline. He also integrated young players into the squad. They included Charlie Savage and Zidane Iqbal.

Anthony Martial, meanwhile, returning from a mixed loan spell at Sevilla, looked to have nailed down the centre-forward role ahead of United’s first Premier League game of the season. However, the Frenchman suffered an injury just three days before his side’s clash against Brighton.

Unired fans, however, still carried some optimism ahead of a new era beginning at Old Trafford. But they came crashing down to earth quickly after a 2-1 defeat against Brighton.

Then came the Brentford debacle, which saw United succumb to four first-half goals. They are currently bottom of the table, with Liverpool next up at Old Trafford.

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Marco van Basten slams Man United over pre-season call

Erik ten Hag’s compatriot, Marco van Basten, has taken aim at the Man United board over a decision made before pre-season even began.

He has criticised the decision to send players to both Australia and Thailand to play matches, before then travelling to Norway and, finally, going back to England.

The main issue is the travel involved. The distance between Manchester and Melbourne is around 10,500 miles. Melbourne to Thailand adds a further 4,500 miles to that tally in the other direction.

United then travelled to Norway – adding a further 5,300 miles – to play Atletico Madrid. Afterwards, they had a friendly against Rayo Vallecano at Old Trafford the following day.

Therefore, the Red Devils will have flown for over 25,000 miles during their tour.

Van Basten told Dutch broadcaster Ziggo Sport (quotes via Metro): “What I find strange is that every year in preparation, they make a kind of world tour. That just kills the group.

“It’s ridiculous, idiotic. They have to stop doing that. Physically, it’s just heartbreakingly bad. They do everything they can to make money. But it’s nonsense.”

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