A lot has been said as of recent about Erik ten Hag’s rules-based approach to instilling discipline at Man United. Multiple reports have indicated that Ten Hag has already begun stamping his brand of discipline at the club, focusing on punishing players when they break rules regarding health, fitness, diet, and punctuality.
A decent chunk of the fans responded to such news as more soft PR, the likes of which often populate the headlines when there is a regime change at clubs. Some even pointed to past diet changes at United brought in by new managers to no avail.
However, the latest bit of action that Ten Hag has purportedly taken indicates that he means business.
According to the Athletic, the manager dropped an unnamed player from the starting lineup in the ongoing pre-season campaign. The offender in question allegedly twice arrived late to team meetings, leading to the new gaffer taking him to task.
While a lot can be said about such an approach, including criticism that it is heavy-handed, it cannot be denied that this will put in place an attitude change at the Mancunian outfit.
The Red Devils boast some of the highest wage-earners in European football but some of the performances that are put up by them will not make it seem like the case. Such an incentive-punishment-based model will instil basic accountability into the players which is already in place in most working atmospheres.
Further, there is a chance that the new boss playing the disciplinarian card could set the power dynamics straight in the club’s dressing room, an issue that has been plaguing the club ever since Sir Alex Ferguson, with his penchant for not letting his players take him for granted, had done a good job at for decades altogether.