‘Erik ten Hag bored players to death playing puzzling 11 vs 0 games in training’
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Erik ten Hag used to bore players to death with his bizarre 11 vs 0 games in training, it's been revealed.
The current Man United manager was appointed as boss of second-division Dutch side Go Eagles in 2012. And upon arrival, the Dutchman made his first eleven play against invisible opposition during training sessions.
The bizarre method used to bore his players who thought he was crazy. But that didn't stop the unrelenting 53-year-old from repeating the mind-numbing drill repetitively.
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Reflecting on Ten Hag's tactics, one of his former Eagles squad members, Joerd Overgoor, recalled with The Sun: "At the end of pre-season, we did a lot of 11 against zero. A lot of players thought, ‘This coach is crazy’.
“He showed us patterns and where to take our positions. Starting from the goalkeeper, he plays to the left central defender, then we build up from there. It’s a little bit boring because you have no opponents to play.
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“We did it a lot and after a couple of times, it was, ‘Again? 11 against zero?’ ” However, Ten Hag's methods paid off at the end of the season as the Eagles gained promotion to the Eredivisie for the first time in 17 years in his first stint as a manager.
And fast forward to the present day, Ten Hag's been just as robust at Carrington following his switch from Ajax last summer. He's introduced a training time of 9am, which players are fined for if not met, and he's also created a diet for the United's stars based around fish and vegetables that they have to eat together.
But Overgoor's not surprised by how strict Ten Hag's been with the Red Devils, as he was the same at the Eagles. He added: "From day one, he was the same as he’s been at United, just really strict. On the first day of training, we had bibs to play eight against eight games — yellow, green and orange.
“After training, we then put them all together and he said, ‘No, I want the yellow ones here, the orange ones here’. If you were late for training, you couldn’t train. “He was strict to make us more professional.”
But Ten Hag's methods weren't able to stop his side from slumping to their heaviest defeat since 1931 at the hands of Liverpool last weekend, who thumped them 7-0. The battering infuriated Ten Hag who savagely made his team sit in since and listen to Liverpool players celebrate after their win.
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