Manchester United dressing room secrets laid bare as players turn on interim manager Ralf Rangnick and his open criticism
According to the Manchester Evening News, the Manchester United dressing room has turned on interim manager Ralf Rangnick after his public and open criticism of the squad and the club in what has been a disappointing 2021/22 season.
Rangnick was brought in late last year to steady the ship after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked due to a string of poor results that saw the club slip down the Premier League table. The German was appointed on an interim basis until the summer, expected to lead the side to a top-four finish.
However, things have not gone according to plan for Rangnick. He now finds himself leaving his post as head coach having endured the club’s worst defensive season since the 1978/79 campaign and also the worst points tally in the Premier League era.
The season has ended with the Red Devils sitting in sixth place in the league table, only able to secure UEFA Europa League football for the upcoming season. The club also finished the campaign without winning any silverware, extending their trophy drought to five years.
Toxic dressing room to navigate
One of the biggest obstacles that Rangnick has had to deal with is the toxic nature of the dressing room. Sources close to a player referred to the German as ‘specs’ behind his back, while another did not appreciate the manager who always ‘talked to him like a child’ and therefore ‘did not give a s—e’ about his advice.
In turn, the German seemingly started to be a lot more honest about the state of the Manchester side in his press conferences, which is surprisingly thought to be only the ‘filtered version’. His comment about the squad needing ‘open-heart surgery‘ did not go down well with the players, as a majority of stars were unimpressed by Rangnick’s methods.
Clearly, the atmosphere at Old Trafford is a shambles. The dressing room seems to have a lot of players who are not ready to show their support to an authoritative figure such as the manager. This is a major obstacle that new manager Erik ten Hag will need to deal with when he takes over.
The summer gives an opportunity for the new manager to dig deep and clear the squad of some players – perhaps a few that he can identify as being troublemakers. No player is bigger than the club, and this kind of attitude needs to be dealt with strongly.
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The current campaign has seen a lot of backbiting and spitefulness in the dressing room, with one player describing the mood as ‘toxic’. This information was made public when club legend Paul Scholes quoted Jesse Lingard to describe the mood within the club to be a ‘disaster‘ after the 3-1 defeat to Arsenal last month.
ten Hag has a major task on his hands to improve the results on the pitch, but before he gets to that, the atmosphere in the club needs to be dealt with as quickly as possible. The pressure of managing one of the world’s biggest clubs lies on his shoulders, and a toxic dressing room only adds to the weight of the task.