Erik ten Hag comments on Man Utd's January transfer plans
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Manchester United boss Erik ten Hag has transformed his side since taking the reins last year. And he has laid down four rules to ensure his side can compete with the best teams in the Premier League ahead of their showdown with Manchester City.
Ten Hag suffered a dismal start to life as Red Devils manager as he saw his team lose 2-1 at home to Brighton on the opening weekend of the season, before they were thrashed 4-0 by Brentford in west London a week later.
But the Dutchman had no intentions of allowing his players to coast through another underwhelming season as he made them aware of the standards he now expects at the club. According to the Daily Mail, since arriving at Old Trafford Ten Hag has implemented a strict dress code, fixed meal times and a mobile phone ban. And he dishes out rigid punishments to wrongdoers.
On the first day of United’s summer tour, players came downstairs at the Athenee Hotel in Bangkok wearing different clothes and footwear. Their manager told them that from that point onwards they were to wear matching gear and trainers and would not be allowed to wear sliders.
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Ten Hag has also ensured the Red Devils stars are now given strict instructions about eating arrangements. There are now fixed meal times in the Carrington canteen and on away trips. And during meals, mobile phones are banned.
Ten Hag illustrated his no-nonsense approach as early as last summer after dropping Alejandro Garnacho for four tour matches after the player turned up late to two team meetings. And the 52-year-old then dropped blockbuster star Cristiano Ronaldo from United’s matchday squad against Chelsea for a Premier League encounter in October after the forward had refused to come on as a late substitute during the side’s clash with Tottenham three days earlier. Ronaldo ended up having his United contract terminated after telling Piers Morgan he had “no respect” for Ten Hag during an interview.
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Ten Hag even took Marcus Rashford out of United’s starting team for their Premier League clash with Wolves at the end of December after the striker was late for a meeting when he overslept. The decision worked as the ace came off the bench to score the winner.
The Red Devils players certainly appear to be buying into Ten Hag’s philosophy, with Garnacho and Rashford accepting their punishments and enjoying fine seasons. And the manager’s disciplined ways have clearly helped the team on the pitch.
United have won 11 of their last 12 matches in all competitions and will move to within one point of second-place Manchester City if they beat them at Old Trafford in the early kick-off on Saturday. The Citizens thumped the Red Devils 6-3 in the Premier League at the start of October when Ten Hag was still trying to make an impact at the club and turn his team’s fortunes around. But United have only lost one game since then and will be ready to show City they mean business this time around.
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