Former Manchester United ace Quinton Fortune has fired a warning of sorts to incoming manager Erik ten Hag, saying that the current crop of players at Old Trafford don’t look happy.
The South African was a solid and reliable squad player during some of the most successful periods of the Sir Alex Ferguson era at Man Utd, and he has admitted he can’t quite adjust to how far the club has fallen in recent years.
It’s been a hugely challenging period for the Red Devils since Ferguson retired in 2013, with a string of managers coming in and struggling to get the team back to where it used to be.
Ten Hag will be the latest to give it a go this summer, but Fortune has given him a warning about the state of the squad he’ll be inheriting.
Speaking to The Athletic, Fortune had some useful advice for the Dutchman, who would do well to take some of it on board for what will be an immensely difficult job.
“Even now, every time I go to Old Trafford, people ask me for a score prediction and I still say United will win 3-0 or 4-0. They look at me and say, ‘Are you OK?’. But it is what my head is used to,” Fortune said.
“If there is one thing a Manchester United team should never lack it is that work ethic and that fight until the end. That is what we did every single day. It is tough watching the team now because you want to see the competitiveness as they have the talent on paper. But then it is, ‘Oh my goodness’ and then they perform like that.
“Something is not right. They don’t look happy. When you see the players on the pitch, it does not look like they work together. With all the talent United have, if they do not work together, it has no purpose. You can put Lionel Messi in the team as well but you need to work together.
“Hopefully now, with Erik ten Hag coming in, he needs to find a way for them to work together, to find happy players and get those relationships going again.”
He added: “It is about understanding people who fit Manchester United and the team. It can’t just be a big name who everyone wants and we pay crazy money. He needs to fit the culture and values of the team and the club. I am sorry to keep going back to the past, but that is the blueprint when you look at the talent, humility and character of the players we signed.”