Football often comes down to the finer details, as incoming Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag indicates when he insists the grass must be cut to 2 mm and drinks laid out to perfection.
United have reportedly agreed a deal in principle with the Dutch manager which will see him become the fifth permanent manager of the club in just the last decade.
Ten Hag is set to sign a four-year deal with the Manchester club once he reaches a compensation agreement with his current club Ajax.
United require a huge turnaround if they are to return to their former glory days and Ten Hag’s expectations could be the solution.
Midfielder Sjoerd Overgoor, who trained under Ten Hag at Go Ahead Eagles in the Dutch league, said the manager’s expectations are high.
“He wanted the drinks to be put out in straight lines. Everything had to be perfect in his eyes. People needed time to get used to that. We had one man whose job it was to look after the pitch.
“Every day Erik would come to him and say that the grass has to be two millimetres or something like that. That was a big difference for everyone at the club. He changed everything,” Overgoor told Sky Sports.
While Ten Hag’s demands may work in his favour, with the current crop of United players, it could work against him. When current interim manager Ralf Rangnick took the reins, several players became dissatisfied with his demanding schedule.
The 52-year-old manager seems to have beaten off competition from PSG manager Mauricio Pochettino for the role in Manchester.
Ten Hag’s first job at the club will be to get the players to buy into his expectations and hope they take a liking to him, or he’ll be facing the exit door sooner rather than later.
Given their disappointing season, United are in need of a fresh start, and Ten Hag could be the man to change their fortunes.
Image source: @Forbes