Erik ten Hag’s demand to Man Utd players speaks volumes about him

Stam urges Man Utd board to back Ten Hag as rebuild begins

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Erik ten Hag reportedly wants Manchester United players to return to training two weeks earlier than planned. The Red Devils will be managed by the 52-year-old next term, who was chosen over the likes of Mauricio Pochettino and Luis Enrique to lead the team. And that he’s already laying down the law speaks volumes about his personality, with the Dutchman determined to hit the ground running at Old Trafford.

After a lengthy process where John Murtough and Darren Fletcher spoke to numerous managerial candidates, Ten Hag was confirmed as the club’s new manager last month.

And, ahead of his time at Old Trafford, it’s been reported he wants players to return to training two weeks earlier than expected.

Ten Hag has been left ‘unimpressed’ by the fitness levels of the current squad, just like predecessor Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was when he replaced Jose Mourinho.

And the fact he’s ready to lay down the law straight away shows exactly what he’s like.

Ten Hag is a perfectionist, similar to his mentor – Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola.

He will leave no stone unturned in the quest for success, as many of his Ajax players have found out during his tenure.

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And it also implies that Ten Hag won’t be adjusting his tactical approach with the players in mind.

Instead, it’ll be very much his way of doing things.

Ten Hag has achieved success at Ajax playing a high-octane, pressing style of football that has worked wonders during his time in Amsterdam.

United’s interim boss, Ralf Rangnick, has been trying to do the same ever since he was named as Solskjaer’s replacement back in December.

Yet the problem is the current players at Old Trafford don’t appear to have it in them.

Results have actually worsened since Rangnick took charge, with United a far cry from the side they used to be.


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But Ten Hag, by making it clear he wants his players to be fitter, is gearing up to implement his own approach.

While United don’t have a wholesome clearout, despite Rangnick’s comments about needing as many at 10 new players, several have been linked.

At the back, they’d welcome a full-back to be an upgrade on Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Diogo Dalot.

Likewise at centre-back, especially with the futures of Harry Maguire, Eric Bailly and Phil Jones uncertain.

In midfield, United admire the likes of Declan Rice, Kalvin Phillips and Jude Bellingham.

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However, West Ham, Leeds and Borussia Dortmund are reluctant to part ways with their prized assets.

And United will have to break the bank if they’re to bring attackers Darwin Nunez and Antony to Old Trafford.

While, Rio Ferdinand thinks United have become a ‘laughing stock’ ahead of the Ten Hag era.

“There is no desire, there is no character, there is no intensity with what they are doing,” he said.

“There is no understanding of what their gameplan is, either understanding of the gameplan or respect for what they have been told to carry out.

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“They are not willing to work for this manager. They are not willing to go out there and play for this shirt.

“They are in disarray and the whole place is in disarray. It has become a laughing stock at the place and that is the single most disheartening thing.

“We are football people and we love the game. We have a laugh and that.

“I am on my way to Manchester and am in the car and the man who is driving with me doesn’t even have a laugh about Man United or throw any banter my way.

“That tells me people are beyond laughing at us. That is where this situation is at and it is an absolute nightmare.

“It needs sorting out and I don’t know if the right things are in place to sort it out yet. This isn’t a quick fix.”

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