Manchester United’s next Premier League game after the break for the World Cup is against Nottingham Forest next Tuesday. While our players who didn’t reach the final have already returned to Carrington and featured earlier this week in the 2-0 win over Burnley, those who made it to the final, Raphael Varane and Lisandro Martinez, are yet to come back.
Martinez, understandably, has been having the time of his life celebrating winning the tournament, meaning Erik ten Hag couldn’t confirm when the defender would next play for United.
I can’t answer that question now, he is still celebrating now in Buenos Aires now going around in the touring car! Going around in Buenos Aires and I can understand it, it is a very emotional, very loaded when you achieve this World Cup success in your country. It is magnificent, it is the highest that you can achieve [in football]. Licha also has to understand that on the December 27th, the Premier League is back.
Martinez was seen comforting Varane after the final whistle and Ten Hag has confirmed that the Frenchman is obviously upset to have missed out on adding another World Cup winners’ medal to his collection.
He is disappointed, as anybody would be after losing the World Cup final. I think he can also be proud again in the final, with all what he has achieved in his football career, it is a massive performance as a team, and a player like Rapha [Raphael Varane] when you win so many trophies. Even though he finished second it is a massive achievement, because the level of the nation is so high. They came into the final and even in the final they were very close.
There were just three days between the final and United’s next game which has made preparation difficult. Ten Hag has spoken about what work has been put in place to get the players ready.
When we had a plan on how to do it, how to manage the load of the players, it is all individual based and we have to manage the load of the players. No-one is the same and no has the same programme or the same minutes, they are all playing in different positions and they are all at different ages. We are really trying to cater for everyone’s plans but we know the restart is five or six days after a World Cup final. We all know that after a World Cup, the Premier League continues quickly and everyone has to be ready for that. You have to accept it for the managers, the coaching staff and also the players. They have to accept it and they want trophies, so we want to have a strong team to battle for the trophies. We have just spoken about the competition for that and be ready for it but it is not easy, nothing in top-level football is easy. We have to do it smartly, that is clear and hopefully we get the right results and the right performance.