Erik ten Hag has previously established the rule at Manchester United, dismissing a player as punishment for missing two team meetings.
The Dutchman took over at Old Trafford this summer, hoping to turn around the club’s fortunes after a disastrous season under both Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and then Ralf Rangnick last season.
The first part of that has been instituting severe discipline among the group ahead of his first season in command, and it looks that majority have embraced the new regulations thus far. Having said that, not everyone has gotten up to speed yet.
According to The Athletic, one unknown player violated the new regulations about timeliness during the Red Devils’ pre-season tour of Asia and Australia. They were allegedly late for two team meetings, which resulted in their being dropped for a game during the trip.
According to the article, Ten Hag had planned to utilise the player during the game but instead prioritised the rules, with tardiness regarded as standards slipping inside the group.
This method, of course, is not unlike to the sanctions imposed by previous United managers – Ten Hag’s colleague Louis van Gaal, for example, imposed heavy punishments for tardiness of only a few seconds.
It remains to be seen whether that fresh attitude to discipline will produce fruit, but the Red Devils have had a successful pre-season trip thus far. They have won against Liverpool, Melbourne Victory, and Crystal Palace.
However, the Red Devils came unstuck against Aston Villa on Saturday. Steven Gerrard’s team battled back from a 2-0 deficit to secure a point, with Leon Bailey’s stoppage-time equaliser leaving United disappointed.
Ten Hag has stated that his team will need to learn from that encounter before their first Premier League match of the season against Brighton in less than a fortnight.
Speaking after the match, he said: “First half was a decent performance, 2-0 up, but, the second half, we came back out of the dressing room, we had control of the game and we gave it away. That’s not good so that is a lesson.
“For the players, for the team, I think we make a lot of progress, a lot of positive aspects. I would say also, at the end, a setback, but it’s also part of the season, a season is not always going up, you also have to have setbacks and have to deal with it.
“They [the players] can have a lot of confidence because they are good but they only have to know we have to work hard and play as a team, then we will have good performances.”