Erik ten Hag is already stamping his authority at Manchester United and has reportedly made a rule change which is a throwback to Sir Alex Ferguson’s era at the club.
The Manchester Evening News have reported that Ten Hag ordered players to report to training by 9am on Tuesday – something Ferguson did during his legendary spell as United manager.
It marks a change to the last permanent manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who would allow players to report for training one hour later – with the Norwegian labelled as ‘soft’ during his time in charge.
On Tuesday, assistant manager Steve McLaren, who also worked with Ferguson at Old Trafford, was one of the first to show up by arriving at 7.45am.
Ten Hag was driven into Carrington just after 8am, while it’s said that all players who have returned for pre-season were at the training complex before 9am.
Erik ten Hag is already stamping his authority at Manchester United with early rule changes
Players returned for their first training session with Ten Hag on Monday (pictured) and the Dutchman has now ordered them to show up to training by 9am as of Tuesday
It was an early start for players who showed up in two groups at 9.30 and 11.30am on Monday
It marks an early rule change for Ten Hag at Old Trafford, and it is not the only one he has made that is a throwback to Ferguson’s methods.
As previously reported, Ten Hag is also keen to foster a positive team spirit in the Red Devils dressing room and as a result has insisted that the squad must eat together and socialise after training.
Ferguson made similar demands during his 26-year tenure at the club, but this culture has since evaporated within the camp.
It marks a throwback to Sir Alex Ferguson’s era at Old Trafford who gave similar instructions
In an effort to prioritise on-ball drills during the opening sessions, Ten Hag has also reportedly told his staff to trim the grass to exactly 15mm, so that the players can quickly get up to speed with his passing demands.
The likes of David de Gea, Luke Shaw and Phil Jones were among the first-team stars to return to training on Monday.
Despite a sizeable number of absentees still enjoying their holidays, 15 senior players showed up on the first day back, arriving in two groups at 9.30am and 11.30am.
Several first-team stars are not in attendance after playing in June’s Nations League international matches, including Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes.
David de Gea was among the 15 senior players who have arrived back into training this week
Out-of-favour England stars Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford are also back in training
Ten Hag was announced as the new United boss in April, replacing interim manager Ralf Rangnick who left the club despite his initial plans to stay on as a consultant.
He began his preparations for the role in May, but the work has now properly started as he gets to know some of his new players ahead of the season.
Ten Hag has plenty of work to do, given United are coming off their worst ever Premier League season.
The Red Devils narrowly pipped West Ham to the second Europa League qualifying spot – just missing out on the ignominy of the third-tier Europa Conference League.
Their total of 58 points was still their worst total in 32 years, and 35 points off the eventual total of champions – and fierce rivals – Manchester City.
Several players have left the club this summer, including Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic, Juan Mata, Edinson Cavani, Jesse Lingard and Lee Grant – all on free transfers.
Players such as Cristiano Ronaldo are yet to return after being on international duty in June
Ten Hag has a lot of work to do as Man United come off their worst Premier League season
But ten Hag will doubtless want to shift several more players, with Dean Henderson, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Alex Telles, Phil Jones, Eric Bailly, Andreas Pereira and Anthony Martial among those with uncertain futures.
United fans though are getting frustrated about their lack of transfer activity so far, despite serious interest in Barcelona midfielder Frenkie de Jong, who worked under Ten Hag at Ajax.
Ajax winger Antony is also a target, while Christian Eriksen is available on a free transfer and is expected to choose between Manchester United and Brentford shortly.
The fact rivals Manchester City and Liverpool have already strengthened with the likes of Erling Haaland and Darwin Nunez respectively, the lack of deals done will do little to appease frustrated fans.