Erik ten Hag has taken a stand on an issue Man Utd haven’t stamped out since Sir Alex Ferguson left, and a report has detailed the ‘brutal’ punishments for offenders.
The Dutchman, 52, is the manager Manchester United have chosen to lead their rebuild. While his first transfer window began slowly, progress on several fronts has now been made.
Indeed, Tyrell Malacia became Ten Hag’s first recruit upon arriving from Feyenoord. An agreement to sign free agent Christian Eriksen is in place and United have reportedly convinced him to break a promise he made to Spurs chairman, Daniel Levy.
However, the latest from the Mirror suggests Ten Hag has been tasked with addressing a different type of issue – information leaks.
Leaks from within the camp have blighted the managerial reigns of many a United boss. Stories of player discontent, training ground bust-ups, unhappiness at training methods and dissatisfaction at the club’s recruitment have all found their way into the media at various times.
The problem was recently addressed by United CEO, Richard Arnold, during a pub meeting with fans.
Arnold claimed the “two sources of the leaks have now left the club,” though stopped short of naming names.
Heavy punishments await offenders
Whether that has stamped out the issue, only time will tell. But if it remains, the Mirror report Ten Hag will dish out savage punishments to any offender, regardless of who they are.
The newspaper state Ten Hag ‘will not tolerate’ any betrayals of confidence. In practice, that will result in players never playing for Ten Hag again if proved to have leaked insider information.
Those who turn up late will be dropped, while tougher rules regarding diets and fitness regimes have been introduced.
Ten Hag making all the right noises
United’s squad has been characterised by painful underachievement ever since Ferguson retired.
Trophies have been won, though the big two of the Premier League and Champions League have eluded them. What’s more, United now find themselves outside of the latter competition for the second time in four years.
Jose Mourinho did attempt to get to grips with the perceived problem of player power in the dressing room. He is engaged in a high-profile spat with Paul Pogba, though the Frenchman ultimately outlasted the Portuguese by some distance.
Rio Ferdinand previously claimed the manager that followed Ralf Rangnick must have the force of personality to handle the United job.
The early noises from Ten Hag suggest he fits that bill.