Ten Hag took over as Manchester United boss and has dealt with any threats to his authority with a ruthless streak as he bids to turn the Premier League giants around.
Bryan Robson believes that Erik ten Hag is going down the Sir Alex Ferguson road of hard discipline to bring success to Manchester United.
Old Trafford legend Robson, United’s ‘Captain Marvel’ felt that the club’s future was in good hands during the pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia. After a stuttering start to the season which included a 4-0 hammering at Brentford, Ten Hag has steadied the ship with United winning eight of their last 11 games in all competitions.
And it has come as no surprise to Robson, now a United ambassador. He said: “I got to know Erik ten Hag on the pre-season tour. We were away for 17, 18 days so on a trip like that you get to meet and get to know the players and staff more than at other times.
Myself, Denis Irwin and Andy Cole (fellow ambassadors) went to all the training sessions so we chatted to the manager and his staff. I think he will do a really good job for Manchester United, He keeps his feet on the ground and talks a lot of sense. His training sessions were really good. He puts in place exactly what he wants.
“If the players are a little bit indisciplined off the pitch he soon cracks down on them.” That was something Cristiano Ronaldo has quickly discovered when the Portuguese superstar stepped out of line.
Robson added: “He will get a lot of support from the club and I believe he will do a very good job for us.”
The former England midfielder who got England’s 1982 World Cup campaign in Spain off to a flyer by scoring after just 27 seconds against France witnessed at first-hand Ferguson bringing in a strict code of discipline in his early days at Old Trafford.
But he quickly gained the respect of the players – something that has lasted right up until the present day with the 80-year-old still a presence around the club.
“Sir Alex Ferguson is still ‘The Gaffer’, ‘The Boss’, to us all,” Robson explained. “I’m lucky enough because we share the same passion with horse racing that I see him a lot. With a couple of mutual friends we go maybe to Cheltenham, York, and Aintree racing.
“Then I see him on match days at Old Trafford. He still has all that passion and drive about Manchester United and football. I don’t think there’s a player I know who played under ‘The Boss’ who doesn’t call him that or ‘The Gaffer’ now. That’s the respect he has got from all the lads who worked under him. He still has that aura and presence no matter where you go. It’s that tremendous respect for him.”