Manchester United players split between themselves in the dressing room amid reports of fights between two rival groups
According to ESPN (h/t Daily Mail), the Manchester United dressing room has seen itself be split down the middle amid reports that there have been fights between players and the atmosphere at the club has been awful.
United have endured a disappointing season overall, only managing to finish in sixth position in the Premier League table and unable to secure Champions League football next term. The summer also marks the end of interim manager Ralf Rangnick‘s reign.
Rangnick’s time at the club saw the squad unity fall to an all-time low, with a source saying that the dressing room was split into two. While the British players stuck together throughout the campaign, many of the foreign stars took their lead from Cristiano Ronaldo.
“The British players tended to stick together while many of the foreign lads took their lead from Ronaldo.”
This has led to a toxic work culture at Carrington, with the mood within the squad turning sour. It got worse through Rangnick’s tenure after the atmosphere between the staff and players’ canteen was described as ‘awful’ by the end of February.
“There was a lot of upset”
These feelings did not just stick to the players, but also spread around and extended itself to those close to the stars, which involved their families and representatives. Things got so bad due to the lack of unity in the squad that before the first leg of the round-of-16 tie against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League in February, two rival groups went at each other and got into a heated exchange.
The same source revealed that there were fractures in the dressing room as some players in the first team were not pleased with Harry Maguire‘s role as captain of the team. The Englishman has been underwhelming for most parts this season, unable to inspire the side to victory.
“There was a lot of upset when it was reported that some of the squad weren’t happy with Maguire as captain, but that was the reality of the situation.”
The results on the pitch have been awful this term, with most of the players looking out of form and short on confidence. Based on the sources, this could be stemming from the toxic and awful atmosphere within the club.
The squad seem to be lacking cohesion and a leader that they can all look up to, rather than having camps and factions within the dressing room. The senior stars in the team need to stand up and take control, and perhaps the summer break can lead to some players cooling off.
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With the transfer window opening soon, there is expected to be a flurry of activity at the club, with several players moving in and out of the squad. The new permanent manager needs to focus on recruiting the right characters and look to ship out the bad apples.
Players need to realise that no one is bigger than the club. If you are not the right for the side and cannot back up your teammates who play for the badge, then perhaps a place in the United dressing room is not the ideal place to be. It will be interesting to see how Erik ten Hag manages to address this issue and clear the air when he takes over.