Shaw already notices “great difference” at Manchester United
At Manchester United, Erik ten Hag’s influence is already being noticed. Luke Shaw, who is trying to make up for a subpar personal season last year, has noted a “huge difference.”
After Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s replacement, Ralf Rangnick, left Old Trafford last November after another disappointing United season, Ten Hag was hired.
After United achieved their lowest point total in a Premier League season, the former Ajax boss has a huge rebuilding task to complete.
For the first time since the 1989–90 season, United also failed to finish a league campaign with a positive goal differential.
Tyrell Malacia and Christian Eriksen were added by Ten Hag, who then took action. In his first two preseason games, Ten Hag easily trounced Liverpool and Melbourne Victory.
If United and Barcelona reach an agreement, Frenkie de Jong is expected to be the next player to join, and Shaw was quick to praise Ten Hag for his efforts both on and off the field.
“We can’t be satisfied anymore with how the team had been going,” he told United’s website. “It’s not where the club should be and we know the levels have had to take a massive step in terms of higher intensity and what we’re supposed to be doing and I think from the start of the last two weeks, especially in training, it’s definitely a big improvement.
“And even in the games, I think you could see things that probably you haven’t seen before, so I think there are things to look forward to.
“I think the manager knows what the team needs and he has his own style and how he wants to manage and all the players have really taken it on board and they’re really enjoying it
“He is very hands-on and he takes a lot of the sessions. He’s involved a lot and if he sees people aren’t hitting the standards that he wants in training, he’ll make sure they know.
“The manager demands more and we have to be better and better. After the first game he said to the press and he also said it to us as well that there were mistakes made that we need to improve on, not just individually but as a team as well.
“He’s spoken a lot about the team and the structure and the way he wants to play. It’s a lot of details, but details win games and with his philosophy and the way he wants to play, we need to listen.
“It’s really good to have an idea of what the manager wants and it’s down to us to go and show that on the pitch. And like I said, there is still much more to come from us and this is only the start.”
The arrival of Malacia from Feyenoord provides further competition for Shaw, who only made 20 Premier League appearances last season in a campaign hit by injury.
Malacia is expected to pose an attacking threat at left-back, having provided four assists in the 2021-22 season, while his 6.0 expected assists (xA) was bettered by only four Eredivisie defenders.
As Shaw prepares to compete with Malacia, Alex Telles and Brandon Williams at left-back, the England international acknowledged he must improve after the 2021-22 term.
“Last season was very disappointing, not just as a team but also individually for me,” he added.
“It wasn’t what people expect or what I expect and I think this season is another fresh start. Now it’s time for me to keep consistency and keep higher levels of performance week in, week out which I’ve spoken to the manager about already and that’s what he wants.”
United will conclude their pre-season preparations against Crystal Palace, Aston Villa, Atletico Madrid and Rayo Vallecano before their Premier League opener against Brighton and Hove Albion on August 7.
“I think you need to have an eye on that Brighton match [already] because that’s the most important game that’s coming up,” Shaw continued.
“Now, it’s all about preparation and getting the fitness work in and the game time, and obviously understanding the new set-up the manager wants on the pitch.
“It’s about putting all that together and making sure we’re 100 per cent at our best when that first game comes because that’s the most important one.”