Giggs claims Ten Hag criticism of Man Utd flop was ‘last throw of the dice’; tells team-mates to ‘call him out’

Joe Williams
Man Utd winger Jadon Sancho
Jadon Sancho whispers in Erik ten Hag's ear during a match.

Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs thinks Erik ten Hag’s public criticism of Jadon Sancho was probably the “last throw of the dice” to get him to improve.

After coming off the bench in all three of the Red Devils’ first three Premier League matches, Sancho was left out of the Man Utd squad altogether by Ten Hag for their 3-1 loss against Arsenal on Saturday.

And the Man Utd boss revealed that he’d omitted Sancho from his squad because of his poor performance in training leading up to the match,

Ten Hag explained his decision to reporters after the defeat to the Gunners: “Jadon, on his performances in training we did not select him.

“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.”

But Sancho couldn’t help but respond in a statement on social media, it read: “Please don’t believe everything you read! I will not allow people saying things that is completely untrue, I have conducted myself in training very well this week.

READ MORE: Transfer gossip: Man Utd demand scuppered Sancho deal, Liverpool bid £100m for Newcastle star

“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! “All I want to do is play football with a smile on my face and contribute to my team.

“I respect all decisions that are made by the coaching staff, I play with fantastic players and (am) grateful to do so which I know every week is a challenge.

“I will continue to fight for this badge no matter what.”

And Giggs, who was giving his first interview since being cleared of domestic violence charges, reckons Man Utd boss Ten Hag was attempting to get a reaction out of Sancho as a “last throw of the dice”.

Giggs told Webby and O’Neill: “It seems like it was the last throw of the dice. Let’s call him out publicly and see how he reacts.

“From the outside you don’t know, but it looks like Ten Hag has tried everything with Sancho really. When he came to the club, I was a fan.

“I thought that he could get better, could improve, which he’s not really done in the short space of time he has been at the club. For me, he always made the right choices in that final third which is rare for a young winger.

“But it just hasn’t happened. He [Ten Hag] has sent him away to get fit. He’s tried him in different positions, and for me calling him out publicly is probably the last straw or the last try to get the best out of Sancho.

“The player can react and think “right, I’ll show him and show the manager what I’m capable of” or he can sulk and probably won’t get anywhere. It’s up to Sancho now. I know a lot has been made of his training and for me, training at United – from my experience as a player – was harder than the games.

“You have to have the performances in training to get yourself on that pitch on a Saturday. He’s got to improve, that’s the bottom line. Because you’ve got a manager who won’t settle for every day.

“If it’s true that his training performances haven’t been good enough, you’re not going to play.”

Sancho has been disappointing since his £72m move from Borussia Dortmund  in 2021 but Giggs thinks it’s also down to his Man Utd team-mates to push him.

Giggs added: “It goes deeper than that. It’s the responsibility of the dressing room to make sure he is performing every day in training.

“We drove each other every day. Sometimes the manager didn’t have to do a lot because we were already there in the dressing room and on the training pitch. The players have got to take responsibility – if he’s true that he’s not pulling his weight – they have to call him out to make sure he does perform. He’s got ability, we’ve all seen that.

“There’s only one person who can change it. You can only get it back on the training pitch. Build your fitness, confidence, physicality – do everything you can. Don’t give the manager any excuses to call you out.”