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Flip-flops and mobile phones: Man United’s new signings are learning Erik ten Hag’s unexpected lessons on tour



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Credit: Man Utd

Erik ten Hag’s new signings at Manchester United are getting used to the values of the club in unexpected ways during the pre-season tour of the United States.

Mason Mount and Andre Onana have been able to settle into life with the squad on tour in recent weeks.

They are both expected to play important roles in the upcoming season on the pitch, with their qualities on the pitch being key reasons behind their signings.

However, Ten Hag is also keen to ensure that his players are able to offer the expected qualities off the pitch for a club like United. He’s stated that the pre-season has provided the opportunity for Mount and Onana to integrate properly into the squad.

“Tours are good for team building, for new players to get the knowledge about the values and standards, on and off the field,” he explained.

“It’s helpful that the players we have signed are already here, integrating in the team and getting the social connections. Football is a team sport and you need partnerships.”

There are varying ways in which manager’s choose to ensure players understand the values and standards of a club. Details of Ten Hag’s approach seems unexpected on the surface, unless you already know about his attention to detail.

The United boss has ordered players and staff to turn up every day dressed in the right colour code whilst on tour, even down to black or white socks, which is emailed the night before, as reported by The Daily Mail.

Ten Hag has also been picking up on violations – flip-flops are forbidden in the camp and players must eat breakfast together and mobile phones are not allowed.

New signings have also become familiar with Rainier Koers, who is a Dutch life coach, and has been ever-present on the club’s tour. Ten Hag values the psychological wellbeing of his players just as highly as their physical fitness.

Onana has worked under the manager previously and so will be familiar with his approach. Learning the demands at a club like United will mean things differ slightly, however.

With Rasmus Hojlund also likely to come into the club in the coming days, he will learn all about the off-field demands – as well as bringing exciting quality at the top of the pitch.