Erik ten Hag has laid down the gauntlet at Manchester United, with several senior players losing their places after just three games of the Premier League season.
Cristiano Ronaldo, Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw are among the players to learn of Ten Hag’s ruthless decision making and according to reports, that has been extended to the immediate press and media.
Gary Cotterill, the Sky Sports journalist, infamously hounded Ten Hag at Crystal Palace in last season’s closing day, with the Dutchman in attendance to watch Ralf Rangnick’s final game with John Murtough.
The reporter clearly did not appreciate the behaviour of Ten Hag’s security on that day and earlier this season, he gloated in United’s 4-0 defeat to Brentford on Twitter.
— Gary Cotterill (@gary_cotterill) August 13, 2022
Ten Hag was visibly intimidated by Cotterill’s aggressive behaviour at Selhurst Park last May and evidently, he has not forgotten that day.
It has now been revealed that Ten Hag refused to speak to Cotterill at Friday’s pre-match press conference. According to the Daily Mail, media officials at United blocked Cotterill’s attempt of asking Ten Hag any questions ahead of tomorrow’s trip to Southampton.
“I’m surprised,” Cotterill said after being denied the chance to speak to Ten Hag. “It was just two people doing their job but I’m assuming he was offended by it. The thing at Palace was him doing his job and not commenting and me doing my job and trying to get a comment. I’m only guessing that was the reason.
“I haven’t been told. You saw what was said but I don’t think it would be too much of a leap to assume it was about that.”
Ten Hag is completely in his right to snub Cotterill at media events after the scenes outside Selhurst Park earlier this year. Ten Hag has been honest and frank with reporters since he took the job and should be treated with the same respect.
Undoubtedly, he will face some recoil from those loyal to the Sky Sports reporter in question but similarly to how Sir Alex Ferguson did, it’s vital that Ten Hag controls proceedings in front of the press.