Erik ten Hag, the manager of Manchester United, has asserted his authority once more, this time by sidelining Jadon Sancho from the first-team setup at Old Trafford. The reason behind this drastic step is Sancho’s refusal to extend an apology to the Dutchman.
Sancho’s future with the club had already been hanging by a thread following a social media outburst where the 23-year-old criticized Ten Hag. This outburst came after Ten Hag suggested that Sancho had been benched due to subpar performances in training.
John Murtough, the football director, had been brought in to mediate discussions between the two, but it now appears uncertain if there’s a way back for Sancho as reports suggest he declined to offer an apology to Ten Hag.
The Athletic reports that Sancho will now be relegated to utilizing the club’s academy facilities for training, as Manchester United confirmed in a statement: “Jadon Sancho will remain on a personal training programme away from the first-team group, pending resolution of a squad discipline issue.”
Ten Hag’s stern handling of the situation with Sancho is the latest instance of the former Ajax head coach enforcing discipline at Old Trafford. While his methods haven’t always been warmly received, they have certainly made an impact.
TalkSPORT pundit Gabriel Agbonlahor criticized Ten Hag last season when a list of his rules for the club was leaked shortly after his appointment. The rules included strict regulations on dietary choices and alcohol consumption. Agbonlahor felt Ten Hag was “overdoing it.”
Back in July 2022, Agbonlahor commented, “The rules Ten Hag is implementing are standard regulations. Players are regularly weighed once or twice a week, and monitoring dietary habits is normal. As for alcohol consumption, most players abstain from it anyway. So when he came in and established these rules, the players were likely thinking, ‘We already do this; it’s nothing new for us.’
“I believe he’s taking it a bit too far now with the ban on personal chefs. Players can have their personal chefs prepare healthy meals. They know what kind of food to provide for the players, so why should they have to rely on food from the training ground?”