2022-23 Preseason: Start! 4 key points from Ten Hag’s training sessions.

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Hi I’m Masa United.

On June 28 (June 27), United’s 22-23 season began. The team moved up the original plan by one week and began pre-season training under the direction of new head coach Eric ten Hag. We have taken our first steps as a new United. On the official website, the training is published, and there are some very interesting discoveries from it.

*Click here for training videos

So here are four key points from the Ten Hague training session. We have summarized in 4 things that I was interested in during the guidance of Ten Hag, such as what kind of training it is, who will be the player to watch, whether young players will be used heavily, etc!

Here’s today’s table of contents

(1) Emphasis on pass work

First of all, when you watch the video of the training session, you can feel that the emphasis is on pass-work training. Drills to move with short passes and connect passes while switching people were seen, and a session by director Ten Hague to instill a pass-and-move style That’s my impression. The aim is to improve the accuracy of the passing and the quality of the movement, which is a decisive factor for United so far. You will also see layoffs (a move that creates a drop to create a positive attitude) and passing work using the movement of the third person, and by repeating such drills, the body will react naturally and be able to move as a matter of course. It is also impressive that key persons also participate in path drills. In the training on the first day, De Gea was also seen joining Rondo, and there was a scene where Bishop participated in a pass work drill.

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Ten Hag intends to pursue his possession aspirations at United as well. Forming triangles and diamonds in phases and advancing forward as a unit with the ball was one of the characteristics of The Ten Hag Ajax. The player who makes the pass rarely stops and it is natural to always re-position himself and prepare for the next pass. This should be fundamental for United this season. I think there will be some coordination mistakes at first, and some players may stop until they get used to it, but I would like to check this out in the pre-season matches and the few matches after the opening.

*For more information on Ajax’s tactics, see this article!

(2) Focus on van de Beek

With the appointment of Ten Hag as head coach, Van de Beek is attracting more attention. Van de Beek was treated poorly in the Solskjaer administration and did not get a chance to play, but he is expected to play an important role under his Ajax mentor Ten Hag. Even in the training videos that are officially uploaded, I think that there are many cases where you catch van de Beek. Assistant Manager Mitchell van der Gaag shouted, “It’s okay, Donnie!!” You can also see the scene where he is called out. Van de Beek’s expression is also vibrant. It makes me happy to watch.

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In previous teams, Van de Beek’s style of connecting passes in detail was different and it was difficult to demonstrate his good qualities within the team, but if pass and move are instilled in the team as a basis, there is no doubt that Van de Beek will shine. Of course, in terms of competing for positions, Bruno will be a big presence in the way, but considering the number of games including the five-man rotation from this season and European competitions and other cup competitions, I think there will be plenty of opportunities to play. In the transfer market, Van de Beek will play a big role in the Dutch Ajax connection if the rumored acquisition of Frenkie de Jong, Lisandro Martinez and Christian Eriksen are realized, as well as the rumored acquisition of Tyrell Malacia. In April, Van de Beek also became a dad. It’s his third season at United.

(3) Many young people participate

In this season’s pre-season training, we have seen many academies and young players. Ten Hag also attaches great importance to coaching the academy squad and it is a good impression that he has shown a strong respect for United’s traditions. Although the players who played in the national team matches have not yet joined the squad and there are few senior players, some of the young players who are participating will be able to accompany them on the pre-season tour and give them a chance.

Confirmed young players
GK:Bishop, Kovard
DF:Fish, Bernard, Hardly, Laird, Alvaro, Wellens, Brandon
MF:Galbraith, Savage, Iqbal
FW:Emeran, Sholetile, Chong, Amad, Garnacho

Of these, Garnacho is probably the one that attracts attention. Garnacho played Argentina U20 until the beginning of June. If it’s true, I’m going back to training next week, so I’m taking part in the vacation early. I applaud this attitude and it shows Garnacho’s intention to bet on this season. If he can appeal to Ten Hague in the pre-season, he will be able to increase his time in the first team.

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In addition, players who have not been able to establish themselves in the first team such as Brandon, Chong and Amad are expected to have many opportunities to play, and attention will be focused on their departure. However, something like Elanga from last season can happen, so I want them to focus on making a strong appeal in the pre-season.

(4) Ten Hag’s teaching style

As the new coach, Ten Hag trained for a week. In his speech, he reportedly emphasized that “just because a bad season doesn’t make you a bad player,” “everyone goes back to the drawing board during the pre-season (battle for positions)” and “the success of this season depends on the players, and the biggest change must come from the team.” Director Ten Hag is making a change immediately.

✅ Shorten turf by 15 mm
✅ 9am Training starts
Meals are taken by all players

The reason we shortened the turf on the pitch was to practice faster passing work, but the change from 10 o’clock to 9 o’clock and the fact that we all ate together are based on the practice of the Alex Ferguson era. As for the meals, it seems that until now they were free to take them at the club restaurant when they wanted to…. It’s about imposing discipline and improving the cohesiveness of the team, and it’s a dramatic change from the Solskjaer era. Of course, there is a possibility that there will be players who will rebel against such tightening, but considering the state of the team, it is natural that as a professional you will be bound by discipline and restrictions to some extent, and I think the players understand it.

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Coach Ten Hag is also highly regarded for his ability to communicate directly with his players during training and to be considerate of each and every one of them. But the demands on play seem to be practical, specific and demanding, with one player saying: “It’s intense, not only the body, but the head is shaken violently. Coach Ten Hag wants we to think, think and think.” The need to train the tactical brain has been said for a long time, and this time we have finally appointed a commander who can put it into practice. Assistants Steve McLaren and Mitchell van der Gaag also provide enthusiastic coaching to their players in the training footage, which reassures United that United will be a team that will compete with more technical play and a clear tactical framework.

The players also have a good impression of the coach, even though they feel the severity, and the atmosphere is good. Starting next week, the main players will be added and they will depart for the pre-season tour from July 8. I’m going to take a long-term view until I get results, but from this training video, my expectations are high (lol). It’s finally time for United to “transform into a modern football club”!

Thank you for reading until the end!