Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane all walked through the doors of Old Trafford last summer, which sparked dreams amongst the fans of Manchester United.
A title challenge and a trophy would have been their minimum wish but what they got was their worst season in Premier League history, finishing sixth with 58 points, 35 behind league-winning Man City.
The club has turned into a circus over the season and is stuck with a dressing room full of primadonnas, who have been labelled by many United fans as the worst in their history – which correlates perfectly with the season’s end result.
Ralf Rangnick stated last week that there was a lack of “team spirit and togetherness” within the squad states ESPN and an anecdote from the season highlights this.
The mood within Man United’s squad had become very sour by the end of February sources told ESPN and that was evident at Anfield. At half-time during the 4-0 defeat at Liverpool in April, there were angry exchanges in the dressing room; due to Rangnick deciding to play with three at the back, handing Phil Jones a first appearance in almost three months, and then replacing the former England defender at half-time.
“Rangnick left Phil Jones completely exposed at Anfield,” a source told ESPN. “He had basically ignored him for three months and then threw him in at the deep end. Harry Maguire had a bad night at Anfield, but Rangnick made the easy decision to substitute Jones at half-time because he didn’t have the bottle to take Maguire off.”
By April 19th, the rot had ended United’s season before their achievements weren’t mathematically out of reach. The source seems to throw Rangnick under the bus but realistically, what could he do? The German already knew this squad was lost and Man United were not even expected to get a draw at Anfield, never mind a win, so why not look for an alternative gameplan in the hope of confusing Jurgen Klopp’s side.
One thing this anecdote reveals further is how much work Erik ten Hag has to do at the club and for United fans, they’ll be hoping the Dutchman can whip their squad into shape after years of neglect under the soft touch of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, something Rangnick failed to achieve miserably.