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Manchester United issues a statement ahead of Chelsea to confirm the shocking ban decision.

News about Chelsea as Manchester United unexpectedly banned players prior to their match against the Blues, after a turbulent week for Erik ten Hag’s team.

In the lead-up to their Wednesday home match against Chelsea, Manchester United has prohibited a number of media outlets, including the Manchester Evening News and the Mirror, from attending Erik ten Hag’s press conference. It comes as pressure on the management is starting to mount following the Red Devils’ latest poor week.

United was the league’s best team prior to a subpar performance and loss at Newcastle on Saturday, which left them on the verge of Champions League elimination and with little to cheer about. Despite this setback, United remains seventh in the standings with 24 points, five more than Chelsea in 10th place. The team has now reacted to rumors that Ten Hag’s players no longer have faith in him.

“We’re taking action against a number of news organisations today, not for publishing stories we don’t like, but for doing so without contacting us first to give us the opportunity to comment, challenge or contextualise,” a United spokesperson said. “We believe this is an important principle to defend and we hope it can lead to a re-set in the way we work together.”

Football.london’s sister publication, the MEN, revealed on Tuesday morning that Ten Hag’s methods were beginning to be questioned, which caused players and staff to start losing faith in him. This season, United has already dropped ten games, which is a record since relegation in 1973–74 at this point in the season.

United maintain that the report itself is not the problem, but rather that the club was not contacted about a piece with several sources. Another tabloid was banned by them earlier this month when it was reported that Ten Hag was “on thin ice.”

According to the MEN story, veteran players “expressed concern at the direction of the club” and a changing room source called the situation “so bad.” Additionally, it’s been stated that some players are’startled’ by Ten Hag’s acquisitions, which include the youthful striker Rasmus Hojlund.

Despite not having scored a goal in the league, the former Atalanta forward is currently tied for first place in the Champions League standings after showing promise in an otherwise disastrous season. Mason Mount, a former Chelsea midfielder and alumnus of the Cobham Academy, is another person who is reportedly being questioned in addition to Antony and Wout Weghorst.

The story goes on to say that Ten Hag has taken the fall for tactical changes and grave concerns about players’ motivation. Two names that have come up explicitly as those who are worried are Marcus Rashford and Antony Martial.

Although some players had begun to have doubts about Ten Hag, MEN stated last month that this did not justify such a punishment. The club’s communications director, Andrew Ward, notified the appropriate parties of the restriction.

 

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