Premier League

Should The Manchester United Clique Be Named And Shamed?

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The Ralf Rangnick honeymoon period has come to an end, on top of falling to his first defeat as coach to Wolves on Monday night, there’s growing reports suggesting that up to 17 of the Manchester United squad has turned on Rangnick after just five weeks in charge of the club.

Rangnick came to Manchester with a big reputation, it has been well documented that his German counterparts Thomas Tuchel and Jurgen Klopp careers have been inspired be the previous achievements and style of football installed into his teams by Rangnick.

The German brought a 4-2-2-2 formation to United along with the high press style of football known as the Gegenpressing, Rangnick is traditionally known for his teams playing a high pressured game based on winning the ball back and forcing opposition into mistakes, this was seen to full effect for the first 30 minutes against Crystal Palace in his first game in charge.

Since those opening 30 minutes United appear to have struggled to live up to those expectations struggling to unconvincing results against Norwich, Newcastle and Burnley before the recent loss to Wolves.

Dressing Room Clique

The cracks have started to appear as previously stated by former United favourite Gary Neville after the draw with Newcastle, after the game, Neville said:

“Something isn’t right in there. I don’t know what it is, but there is definitely whinging going on – they are all at each other and not helping each other.

“The spirit of a dressing room is really important, and I don’t think they’re all with each other at this moment in time.

“There’s a leadership struggle going on. Harry Maguire is the captain, but he doesn’t feel like the captain.”

United left back Luke Shaw openly spoke out after the Wolves defeat Shaw said:

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – JANUARY 03: Luke Shaw of Manchester United during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Trafford on January 3, 2022 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Images)

‘I didn’t feel that we were all there together. We felt like we were struggling.
‘We weren’t on the front foot, and they felt like they were in full control.

‘I don’t think you can put it on that (the new manager). We players have been here for a long time.
‘You look at our squad, you look at our team, and we have unbelievable quality. Sometimes quality isn’t enough. 
‘We need to bring the intensity. We need to be more aggressive and we need to bring more motivation.

‘Inside the dressing room we know what we want but when we step out on that pitch we need to give 100 per cent.
‘Even from the first minute we didn’t go for them.
‘I think that time’s critical where you’ve got to put your stamp on the game, especially with 75,000 people roaring behind us.’

It is difficult this level of speaking out would have been tolerated back in the days of Sir Alex Ferguson and Roy Keane pointing more towards the lack of control in the United dressing room.

A recent tweet from Mark Goldbridge of The United Stand YouTube channel suggests that he has sources at United who have disclosed that certain players also have unrest with Cristiano Ronaldo aswel as Rangnick he tweeted “The team was off before the game. Cristiano was brilliant in the dressing room & on the pitch before kick off. Some players had already decided not to listen”

There’s apparently a clique of United players unhappy with the game time being given to Ronaldo, Dalot and Telles since the introduction of Rangnick with reports mountain that Ronaldo has a influence over the Portuguese speaking players aswel Ronaldo has questioned the ability at the high level of some of the said players.

This is said to have caused unrest and created a divide in the dressing room, of course the Ole era has never really left the dressing room with his coaches Fletcher and Phelan maininting their positions may not have helped this would we be seeing the same level of revolt if a new coaching team had been brought in?.

And we must remember that it’s not as easy as just replacing a coach as Rangnick of course signed a two-year consultancy role that starts next season. Making him a big part of the club for the near future of the club.

Where do you stand on the United divide that has appeared in recent weeks, should the United clique be named and shamed and made accountable for the disfunction being caused? Let us know your thoughts.

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Luke Shaw image Embed from Getty Images

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James Rees is host of ReesTalks Podcast and a Football, F1 and MMA writer, who strives to bring you the best content aswel as bringing you interviews with some of the sports top stars.