Manchester United have been having a disastrous start to the season so far. It's still early in the campaign, but the way things stand, they are on course to having an even worse season compared to the already terrible one they had last year. As such, manager Erik ten Hag decided to take immediate action by "punishing" his players for being thrashed by Brentford 4-0 over the weekend.

According to Marca, the Dutchman decided to throw the defeat in the faces of his players by having them run 13.8 kilometres in training, which is the exact gap in the distance covered by the Red Devils and Brentford during the said match.

It was a humiliating defeat, and Ten Hag made sure his players won't forget it anytime soon. They only finished sixth in the Premier League last season, and expectations were high that a fresh start with a new manager will help them make improvements this season.

However, the exact opposite happened, with the club also losing 2-1 against Brighton in their opening match the week before. Ten Hag has his work cut out for him, as it became clear that the midfield and defence were both lacking. Four goals were conceded in the first half alone, forcing the manager to make substitutions at the break.

The manager himself received a lot of flack for failing to start the likes of Raphael Varane, who came in for Lisandro Martinez at the start of the second half.

Despite bringing back last season's top scorer, Cristiano Ronaldo, in his starting lineup, Ten Hag could not find the right formula. The Portuguese star was once again a gloomy figure on the pitch, and even refused to acknowledge the travelling fans at the end of the match.

It has been a major talking point throughout the summer that United should have done more when it came to the transfer market. This is also believed to be one of the reasons why Ronaldo decided to ask for a transfer after initially sounding optimistic about the new season.

It remains to be seen if Ten Hag will be able to force Manchester United to sign players in his wish list, with many of those coming from his championship-winning squad in Ajax. The transfer window is still open for almost two weeks, and a lot can still happen. Meanwhile, United will face Liverpool next, making it likely that they will wait much longer before bringing home their first points.

Cristiano Ronaldo
Cristiano Ronaldo is keen to leave Manchester United AFP / Nigel Roddis