Following his arrival from Ajax, the Dutchman imposed a harsh rule at Manchester United, but one player, in particular, felt the manager’s fury right away.
Erik ten Hag has already established the rule at Manchester United, dismissing a player as punishment for missing two team meetings.
The Dutchman took over at Old Trafford this summer, hoping to turn around the club’s fortunes after a disastrous season under both Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and then Ralf Rangnick last season.
The first stage of that has been instituting severe discipline among the group ahead of his first season in command, and it looks that majority have embraced the new regulations thus far. Having said that, not everyone has gotten up to speed yet.
According to The Athletic, one unknown player violated the new regulations about timeliness during the Red Devils’ pre-season tour of Asia and Australia. They were apparently late for two team meetings, which resulted in them being dropped for a game during the tour.
According to the article, Ten Hag had planned to use the player during the game but instead prioritized the rules, with tardiness regarded as standards slipping inside the group.
This method, of course, is not unlike the punishments imposed by previous United managers – Ten Hag’s compatriot Louis van Gaal, for example, imposed heavy punishments for the tardiness of only a few seconds. The former Ajax schemer is not as rigid, but scheduling is still very important.
It remains to be seen whether that fresh attitude to discipline will bear fruit, but the Red Devils have had a successful pre-season trip thus far. They have won against Liverpool, Melbourne Victory, and Crystal Palace.
However, the Red Devils came unstuck against Aston Villa on Saturday. Steven Gerrard’s team battled back from a 2-0 deficit to secure a point, with Leon Bailey’s stoppage-time equalizer leaving United disappointed.
Ten Hag has stated that his team will need to learn from that encounter before their first Premier League match of the season against Brighton in less than a fortnight.
Following the game, he stated: “The first half was a good performance, with us leading 2-0, but in the second half, we came out of the locker room with control of the game and gave it away. That’s not good, and it serves as a lesson.
“I believe we are making significant development as a team and as individuals. I would also say, at the end, a setback, but it is also part of the season; a season does not always go up; you must also cope with setbacks.
“They [the players] can have a lot of confidence because they are good, but they only need to know that we have to work hard and play as a team to have good performances.”