Skip to Content

Did Erik ten Hag himself run the 8.5-mile-long Man United punishment run?

Did Erik ten Hag himself run the 8.5-mile-long Man United punishment run?

Manchester United defied the odds with a shocking 2-1 win over Liverpool to get the Erik ten Hag era started in style.

The Red Devils outplayed their arch-rivals for the majority of the game and produced arguably their best performance of the calendar year.

What made the performance most surprising is that hardly anyone could have anticipated it. It was a far cry from their sorrowful, lacklustre performances to kick off the Premier League season.

The 4-0 loss to Brentford was the worst the Red Devils have played in a long time and left many, including Ten Hag himself, infuriated.

After that embarrassing defeat, Ten Hag was intent on bringing changes to his team. He cancelled his side’s off-day after the Brentford game and punished his players by making them work harder than usual.

One of the drills he made them go through was to go on an 8.5-mile run. This was to make up for the difference in the length of ground covered between the United and Brentford players in the match.

Initially, the Red Devils’ stars were fuming at having to do such an exhausting task only a day after that draining loss.

But the childish moaning was put to an end after a surprising move from Ten Hag himself.

The Dutch gaffer himself felt very much responsible for making the United fans undergo the embarrassment of the 4-0 loss and was ready to punish himself along with all the players.

So the 52-year-old manager, who was once a professional football himself, decided to go on the challenging 8.5-mile run with the players as well.

A source within the club told the Mirror: “It was clear he wasn’t going to let his players take all the blame. Ten Hag also felt he had to show that he also felt culpable. It was a tough run for the players – but it was even more gruelling for Erik – and they were impressed.”

The unconventional training methods of Ten Hag seemed to have worked a treat. Just a week after that shambolic performance against Brentford, the United players turned a new leaf to blow aside Liverpool and move over Jurgen Klopp’s side in the Premier League.