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.
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.
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.