Erik ten Hag has brought a level of discipline and stability to Manchester United that was previously lacking, according to Bruno Fernandes.
The Dutch manager arrived from Ajax over the summer and oversaw a significant turnover in the squad, as six new players arrived and stalwarts like Paul Pogba, Nemanja Matic and Juan Mata left.
The mini-revolution was needed after a disastrous 2021/22 campaign that saw United finish sixth in the Premier League under first Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and then Ralf Rangnick.
Although Ten Hag got off to a rocky start with back-to-back league defeats to Brighton and Brentford, they have since turned a corner and Fernandes has been impressed with the new boss.
“He has an idea. He has a style,” said Fernandes Athleticism. (opens in a new tab)
“You have to follow his rules. He’s strict about it. And I like it. He brought discipline, which I think we lacked in the past. Everyone should be on the same page.
“It’s what Pep (Guardiola) and (Jurgen) Klopp have been doing for years, because they have stability in the club and in the way they choose the transfer market and build the team, which is really important for them to get the rewards. .
“I saw the manager say in a press conference that we don’t want to bring in players just for fun, we want to bring in the right players for what we want to do. That’s something the club needs.
“We still have room to improve and he needs time to get the best out of us with his idea of playing. I believe we will get to the point with him where we are established as a team and everyone is on the same page.
United’s summer spending spree amounted to more than £200million as hefty fees were paid to Antony, Casemiro and Lisandro Martinez.
But Fernandes was also asked about his own transfer which never happened – a mooted move to Tottenham in the summer of 2019.
Spurs had an offer rebuffed by Fernandes’ club at the time, Sporting CP, and the attacking midfielder revealed he wasn’t the happiest.
“Obviously I wanted to go to the Premier League. The manager, Mauricio Pochettino, was the one who wanted me there. It was a good offer but Sporting did their best to keep me,” he said .
“The president spoke to me but he spoke to me on the wrong day. It was the day after they decided to turn down Tottenham’s offer and I was really angry.
He didn’t have to wait long to secure his long-awaited move to England as United manager Solskjaer oversaw his move to Old Trafford six months later.
“At the beginning of January, my agent said to me: ‘You don’t have to worry, because every time I bring you a club, it will be a dream club for you’. He knew that the dream club was Man United,” Fernandes recalled.
“Ole played a big part in that because he actually went to watch my games. He saw me bitching a lot in that game against Porto — I bitched a lot at their players, at the referees.
“I groan against all who are against me, not against those who are with me. Ole saw someone passionate and that helped him sign me for the club.
“The first day he said to me: ‘Be yourself’. He said: ‘I know what you are capable of with the ball, but I also want you to be the leader that you have been at Sporting’ .
More articles on Manchester United
Plans for January at Manchester United are already in the works but apparently hinge on Cristiano Ronaldo’s future.
A replacement for David De Gea has apparently been identified, while Jude Bellingham is apparently on the radar. United are also in on the game for Barcelona ace Gavi.
Meanwhile, former Manchester United captain Gary Neville spoke to TFF on the influence of American landlords and how they threaten “the fabric of the English game”.