Erik ten Hag made his feelings known after he felt a group of Manchester United players were not executing a drill correctly in training.
The Dutchman is still looking to get his message across as he gets stuck into his first weeks with the playing squad, having taken charge of the team recently. Ten Hag’s Ajax side played with a clear philosophy that he will now try and implement in Manchester and he’s shown himself to be a hard task master.
United are in Thailand for a pre-season tour and much of their session has been centred around possession-based drills. The whole team took part in a keep-ball exercise before breaking off into smaller groups that were overseen by Ten Hag’s two assistants – Steve McClaren and Mitchell van der Gaag
It was the group led by Van der Gaag, which consisted largely of first-team stars, that made Ten Hag raise his voice and express his disapproval. Eight players took on three in a very right space. Points were awarded to the attacking team for every five passes completed while the defensive team could get five points at once by scoring into a small goal at either end of the area.
According to The Athletic, Ten Hag lamented the attacking side for failing to create the formation he wants to employ – two in midfield. He made that clear as he shouted: “Bring an extra player – two in the middle. You can make triangles, that’s football. Always the same principle.”
Fred and Scott McTominay have been the club’s two regular central midfielders but Donny van de Beek is set to be given a new chance to impress under the manager he previously worked with at Ajax. Frenkie de Jong, another former Ajax man, is also on the club’s wishlist.
Bruno Fernandes has offered an insight into the demands of the new regime, telling the United website : “It’s been pretty intense. He (Ten Hag) likes intense training, reactions when you lose the ball. He likes everyone to run. He’s been really good. Everyone is enjoying [it], obviously. Everyone gets really tired at the end of the training but that’s what we have to do.
“We have to be like that at the end of the training, but then you know the training was really good. As I said, we have to do the hard work because, if we do it now, then we will be fit for the beginning of the season. We all know the first games of the season are strange, but we want to be the ones that will be winning.”