Erik ten Hag’s meticulous approach and attention to detail extends beyond the pitch, according to those working with him on Manchester United’s pre-season tour.
Ten Hag is renowned for his hands-on approach to training, which has been evident in the sessions he has taken at United’s Carrington training base and here on tour in Bangkok. But the United manager’s micro-management is such that he has insisted on United staff on the tour wearing certain outfits on particular days, so he can recognise them.
Staff get a message in a WhatsApp group every morning, informing them which colour shirt to wear – black or white – with the United crest, so ten Hag can identify them around the team hotel and training ground. On Monday, the female members of staff wore white shirts, while the men sported black, as per the directive.
“It’s just another measure of his attention to detail,” said a United source. “He’s so focused and everything is thought out.”
Ten Hag has also banned players from bringing their mobile phones at meal-times – breakfast, lunch and dinner – in order to foster a spirit of togetherness within the squad. United’s training sessions have followed a similarly detailed pattern, with ten Hag at the heart of the sessions, taking charge and barking instructions to his players.