Erik ten Hag has been laying down his new world order at Manchester United during the club’s pre-season – including dropping one player from a game over his tardiness.
Following his appointment, the new manager promised to change the culture at Old Trafford by introducing a number of disciplinary measures, and it appears he is certainly making good on it.
Ten Hag was chosen this summer as the man to turn around a star-studded but misfiring United team into a cohesive unit, and quickly set about making changes within the structure of the team.
Front and centre of his new regime is what has been branded Ten Hag’s ‘Five Commandments’ to keep his players professional.
The Dutchman has put an alcohol ban in place, banned personal chefs, warned any late players will be dropped, has insisted on regular body mass index checks and told unhappy players to come to him directly with their issues, rather than their agents.
And it seems he has already had to enforce one of those rules, with one player being dropped from a game during the club’s pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia.
The Athletic claim an unnamed Man United star was due to play in one of their games Down Under, but was pulled from the matchday squad after he TWICE turned up late to team meetings.
Strict curfews have also been put in place by the boss.
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A number of Manchester United players went out to experience the Melbourne nightlife in one of their free evenings, but were told to be back for an early bedtime, and all were back before the time set by their manager.
Ten Hag has also insisted on a no phones rule at team dinners for all the players.
His measures have been criticised as extreme by some, but the manager has been keen to show that poor discipline and attitude have big consequences and has been quick to send his message to the players.
The 52-year-old comes across as a stern character at the side of the pitch, with supporters more than once hearing the boss vent his frustration by barking at his players, often pointing out what they have done wrong.
Goalkeeper David de Gea was one of those caught in the firing line, with Ten Hag heard yelling, ‘What the f*** are you doing?’, at the Spaniard during United’s pre-season win over Crystal Palace when he kicked long.
Teen star Zidane Iqbal has been one of the club’s more impressive performers during the 18-day tour, but he also faced his manager’s wrath from the sidelines.
Ten Hag shouted at him, ‘Keep the ball on the floor! Zidane! Hey! Fucking rubbish!’, in the 2-2 draw with Aston Villa at the WACA.
However, while some may not agree with the blunt delivery, the Manchester United players appear on board and are buying into Ten Hag’s methods to get them back to where they belong.
“It is discipline,” said full-back Diogo Dalot.
“We need to be ready for that, to hear things that maybe we don’t want to hear.
“But I think everything is for the greater good of the team and that’s the most important thing.”