Manchester United defender Luke Shaw has stressed that manager Erik ten Hag has brought the kind of discipline back to Old Trafford that the player hinted was absent under previous bosses.
News broke on Saturday morning that Marcus Rashford had been dropped to the bench for the Premier League trip to Wolves, despite the forward returning from the World Cup in great form.
Speaking before the game, Ten Hag had labelled it an ‘internal disciplinary’ matter.
Rashford was eventually brought on at half-time with the score still tied at 0-0 and went on to change the game. He scored the only goal to secure his side the win and three points, moving them into the top four of the Premier League, and had another goal disallowed following a VAR review.
After the final whistle, Shaw backed Ten Hag for initially dropping Rashford, insisting that there have to be consequences if players step out of line. His words suggested it hadn’t previously been like that in recent years, coinciding with United’s consistently disappointing league finishes.
“At a top club like this, it has to be like that,” Shaw told BT Sport.
“People can’t do whatever they want. Maybe that has been part of the problem in the past, where people are getting away with silly little things. But the manager takes all of that into consideration and, like you’ve seen, if you’re not keeping the standards high, then you won’t play.”
Having endured a pretty awful 2022 until Ten Hag’s impact started being felt around September, United will finish the calendar year fourth in the Premier League, although Tottenham could go back ahead of them on New Year’s Day if they win their game against Aston Villa.