Man Utd players ‘privately mocked Erik ten Hag’ after dressing room animal impression

Erik ten Hag was ‘mimicked’ by Man Utd players. (Image: Getty)

Erik ten Hag may have earned a stay of execution at Manchester United, but he still has plenty of problems to fix inside his dressing room. The Dutchman has work to do as he continues to battle the “no-good culture” he inherited at Old Trafford in 2022, which was reportedly on show again last season.

Ten Hag cut an isolated figure in the latter stages of his second campaign as the expectation of his imminent sacking loomed large.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe and INEOS’ ruthless cull of off-field personnel included chief executive Richard Arnold and football director John Murtough.

They were the two figures primarily responsible for Ten Hag’s arrival two years ago. But all of a sudden, his close confidants on the United board were no more.

The 54-year-old’s relationship with Ratcliffe, Sir Dave Brailsford and Jean-Claude Blanc will have been challenged as INEOS deliberated over his future.

But he also faced a battle to retain the respect of his dressing room amid United’s worst-ever Premier League campaign, slumping to an eighth-place finish with 14 defeats and a minus-one goal difference.

Reports swirled suggesting Ten Hag had lost a chunk of his squad, and they were made easier to believe by every dismal performance on the pitch.

According to the Mail, some of the United boss’ players even started mocking him as he took special measures to drill home his philosophy.

Erik ten Hag faces a task to unite his players. (Image: Getty)

It’s claimed that early into his reign, Ten Hag urged his players to buzz around their opponents off the ball as if they were bees.

It was one way of demanding that they work hard out of possession. He then reportedly proceeded to make buzzing noises as if he were a bee himself to solidify his point.

But the report adds that at one stage earlier last season, some players mimicked Ten Hag’s demonstration behind his back.

The former Ajax coach also faced different tests of his authority publicly, which added weight to murmurs of unrest within the walls of Carrington.

Jadon Sancho effectively called him a liar in an incredible social media post. Marcus Rashford’s drinking bender in Belfast before phoning into training sick the following day was another example.

Alejandro Garnacho was Ten Hag’s joint-most-used outfield player last term, making 50 appearances including 38 successive starts up to the FA Cup final.

However, the 19-year-old, too, was spotted liking social media posts criticising his manager’s decision to hook him at half-time during the draw at Bournemouth near the end of the season.

Ten Hag must use the summer to continue moulding his squad with incomings and outgoings while also mending fractured relationships and ensuring the foundations for improvement are laid.

Source: https://www.express.co.uk/sport/football/1910827/Man-Utd-news-Erik-ten-Hag