Erik ten Hag must fix the culture at Manchester United, says former defender Rio Ferdinand.
“I talk about the culture all the time, and that’s number one on my list,” explained Ferdinand on his VIBE with Five podcast.
“The culture has to be right, because you need to see, first and foremost, a work ethic. You need to see a culture of people not wanting to get beat. You need to see a culture of it [losing games] hurting people.
“You need to see a culture of discipline in the group, nothing getting out.
“Stuff that we’ve got in the papers, the manager [Sir Alex Ferguson] would pull the squad in immediately, and I don’t think this happens now.”
Ferdinand then explained how Sir Alex Ferguson would have dealt with the situation.
“[He] would get that squad in, tight group, get in a circle. ‘What’s going on here? If I find out who is leaking stories to the media.’
“You’re standing there thinking: ‘I hope and I’m going to find out that no one in my team has spoken to anyone in the media, because I haven’t.’
“At the moment, there’s a mole in the camp. There’s leaks coming out far too often that suggests this squad ain’t like that [puts hands together]. This squad ain’t there [tight-knit].
“Setting the culture is just an absolute must. You can’t have a culture at the club, which is right now of, players who aren’t in fear of bad performances. The culture at the football club isn’t that of fear of disappointing the hierarchy, the manager, and stuff like that.”
He added: “It’s like: ‘I don’t play well, it’s not my fault, it’s his.’ There’s no repercussions. At the moment, at the football club, there aren’t consequences for actions on and off the pitch.
“It starts there [gestures to the top]. That’s why the manager is so important. People keep going: ‘It’s the players.’
“All of it needs to be working together, but the manager sets the tone.”