Erik ten Hag could have an even bigger task ahead than first thought after yet another power struggle between the players at Manchester United before the end of the season
Ralf Rangnick could be relieved to see the finish line in sight at Manchester United given the drama at the club as he nears his final weeks in charge.
The German has already said goodbye to the home fans at Old Trafford as United beat Brentford 3-0 on Monday and Rangnick also allowed Juan Mata and Nemanja Matic to receive the farewell they deserved. The two midfielders are leaving United in the summer, with Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard expected to follow.
But Lingard wasn’t given the same treatment by Rangnick, prompting the midfielder’s brother to blast the club on Instagram, although the German has now revealed the truth behind the situation. However, Lingard’s rift is just the latest in a long line of battles between players and managers at United and underscores the true scale of new boss Erik ten Hag’s task.
It’s expected to be a summer of mass change at United, with several stars likely to leave the club, as well as potential signings. There has also been movement in the club’s hierarchy, showing how United have hit the reset button and chosen Ten Hag as the man to lead them in yet another rebuild.
But the Dutchman has a big task ahead of him and he isn’t the first man handed the responsibility of changing United’s fortunes. If there’s one thing in common with Ten Hag’s predecessors and the United squad, it’s that the dressing room continues to have a toxic feel.
Since Sir Alex Ferguson left, David Moyes has struggled with the player strength in his shadow and the side have not been too kind to Louis van Gaal either. Jose Mourinho is not the type of boss that allows players to take control and unfortunately the Portuguese boss was axed after several run-ins with players like Pogba.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer remains a popular character but it would never realistically work in the long term having failed to win a trophy. And if Ten Hag is to succeed, he must root out the toxic culture that has engulfed the club. There has been an attitudes issue since Ferguson left, and the Lingard fallout underscored that the issue is still prominent almost a decade later.
Some hasty accusations have been made from Lingard’s camp surrounding his snub at Old Trafford, but Rangnick has since set the record straight when he said: ‘Well, first of all, in the last few weeks and under my tenure, he [Lingard] has played may games farther than before i came.
“On the day of the match against Chelsea he contacted me at the hotel and asked me to release him from the game and also to excuse him from training the next day. This was for personal family reasons and I allowed him to do that.
Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images)
“I also only have three substitutions, every other league has five. I have to leave out other players that I would like to use, but I can’t. If I had left out other players, maybe someone else could have.” posted. With three subs and two already used, it’s a must have and not everyone will like it.
It seems Lingard has completely exaggerated the situation and is entitled to be upset about his treatment. But the way he has acted is the perfect example of the toxicity United must stamp out and it will be Ten Hag’s duty to enforce that. Rangnick has done Ten Hag a favor by addressing this publicly as not only has he covered his own back and put Lingard in the spotlight but he has also alerted the Dutchman to the problems he may be facing. Lingard may be heading elsewhere this summer, but he’s not the only player causing a stir.
Ten Hag has to manage the dressing room the way others have failed and United don’t have the luxury of having club legends like Roy Keane or Rio Ferdinand to oversee them. Ten Hag’s first priority must be to improve the attitude and atmosphere in the current dressing room before he can think about bringing new faces into that environment.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/football/news/man-utd-erik-ten-hag-26897021 Man Utd players' latest power struggle underscores the true scale of Erik ten Hag's abandonment