What Ten Hag will look for in training
Manchester United players returned to Carrington today, as pre-season work under new manager Erik ten Hag began.
The Dutchman’s first day was a hot topic of discussion on the latest episode of The Debate, where Stewart Gardner was joined by former United players Wes Brown and Danny Webber, as well as journalist Paul Hirst.
This week is the first opportunity for Ten Hag to see his squad - albeit not the full one yet - interact on the training pitch and Webber pinpointed some key areas our new boss will be paying close attention to.
“I’ve played under numerous managers, and every time someone [new] is in place, you want to be in that starting XI,” said the former striker. “Whilst they know some bits about you from the outside, a manager is coming in and looking at your character.
“[They are] looking at how [you are]. Are you going to run through a brick wall for him? Are you someone who pulls out of a tackle? Do you go full in? These are all the little details that a manager’s looking at.
“He’ll be looking at the mental side of it too. The cohesion within the squad, who’s with who. Who are the opinion leaders in the team, that he can sort of pass some information through as well? There’s a lot of information that he’ll be taking in while he's watching his players interact, because he’s obviously seen it from afar before.”
Hirst agreed with Webber, adding that Ten Hag will, in return, be looking to impress his new squad.
“He’s got to make a good impression on the players too,” said the journalist. “He’s got to get his ideas across clearly.
“It’s a big week for him, but I have no doubt that he will have been preparing. Well, he has been preparing for this for a month, hasn’t he? He’s got the players back in early, and before that, he ended his time at Ajax early so he could start working on this job. He’s done his due diligence, so he'll be ready to go.
“I’m sure he’ll be relishing the challenge.”
Pre-season starts hereGallery
Check out these exclusive pics, as some of the players reporting for duty passed our camera inside Carrington.
Brown also believes that this week will be more difficult than usual for our players, as they push themselves in front of the new boss.
“The first week includes a lot of running, you know it’s going to be hard. The legs are going to be sore. But it is a completely new manager. It might not be the first time that some of them have met him, but it will be for others, so it’ll be an interesting week.
“I think mentally it [will be] a very tough week for the lads.”