Eric Ten Hag Sets Out The “Rules of Victory”


After Manchester United’s eventful League Cup victory over Aston Villa, Eric ten Hag immediately praised his players for following his “rules” or “principles” to win the game in the post-match conference.

The game, which at one point looked like a knife’s edge, ended with a major victory for the Red Devils with a two-goal difference after several brilliant substitutions by Ten Haga.

The United manager, quick to praise players like Alejandro Garnacho for his influence on the game, was also quick to stress that the reason for the win was that the players adhered to his principles of winning.

“In defense, the rules are not “but” or “if” — I just demanded that they do it. In offensive positions, these are “principles”, so there is more freedom.” The Dutchman said after the game.

He even referred to these rules in his preamble in the match program: “Whoever is chosen, he will have to adhere to the rules of victory and the plan that we laid out in advance.”

This is not the first time Ten Hag has referred to these “rules”. He said the following after the disappointing defeat by Villa in the league: “We didn’t follow the rules in defense, the players on the field have to win the game, and if they do their job 100 percent, with passion and desire, the rules and principles of football, then we will win this game.”

Speaking after a brilliant victory over rivals Liverpool, Ten Hag said: “I saw the team on the field, good organization, fighting for each other, following the rules.”

“There’s always a way in your team, and we started from the first day of pre-season to figure that out… so every time a new player comes along, you tell him about the rules and then you play together.”

It is clear that the coach requires his players to be well trained in these principles, and it is clear that this hard work pays off with each passing game.

Often, when a team makes as many as seven substitutions in the starting eleven, the game can become incoherent and devoid of smoothness. But despite a pretty cool first half, United looked like they were all on the same wavelength, with some clear passes and a team that looked organized.

By comparison, Villa, who also made seven substitutions, looked disjointed, especially when trying to play the ball from behind. Once goalkeeper Olsen gave the ball away due to a lack of communication, which directly led to United’s goal.

The goal this season is to return to the European elite competition through the top four, but the League Cup now represents a real opportunity to get trophies that really prove the benefits of following the rules of victory.


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