Anthony Martial was sent home from Carrington today after arriving for training at the wrong time.
However, in a situation Erik ten Hag will find refreshing, the French forward had reported for duty too early, rather than too late.
Martial arrived for training at 8:56 a.m., believing the meet time to be 9 a.m. as it had been on Tuesday.
Onlookers were surprised to then see the 27-year-old promptly depart Carrington only five minutes later. Martial would then return later in the day along with the remainder of the squad.
Time-keeping has been a source of unwelcome attention in the past few weeks at Old Trafford.
The Athletic even revealed the Dutchman’s coaching staff set Sancho a schedule with a start time one hour earlier than the rest of the United squad last season, in an effort to ensure the winger turned up at the actual meet time.
This was said to have worked initially before Sancho fell back into “similar patterns.”
Prompt time-keeping is considered a prerequisite for a player under Ten Hag. There are no exceptions to this rule; even for star players, as Marcus Rashford found out last January.
The electric forward, in the form of his life, was less than a minute late to a team meeting before a match away to Wolves. Ten Hag, consequently, dropped Rashford, underscoring the standards he expects his players to abide by.
The fact that Rashford would come off the bench to score the only goal of the game, citing being dropped as a source of motivation, only strengthened Ten Hag’s hardline approach.
The Dutchman would, therefore, have been pleasantly surprised to learn of Martial’s mistake this morning. The Frenchman was not only early for the actual meet time, but he was early for his mistaken meet time too!