Rumours would lead us to believe that Erik ten Hag has lost the majority of the Man United dressing room, and former England international, Stan Collymore, believes there’s no hope of strong leadership all the while Bruno Fernandes is wearing the captain’s armband.
The Portuguese has been shown to be a little petulant at times and, perhaps, lacking character. Certainly, there’s no comparison with the likes of Roy Keane and Bryan Robson, two modern United greats who controlled the dressing room with ease.
With results consistently going against the Red Devils this season, it’s easy for the manager to once again become the fall guy, but Collymore believes the die has been cast by what’s going on behind the scenes.
“Let’s be perfectly honest… if Bruno Fernandes is your captain, the dressing room isn’t exactly going to be full of characters. It’s not going to be full of Roy Keane types if Bruno is your leader,” he said in his exclusive column for CaughtOffside.
“I don’t believe there’s a lot of personality in that Manchester United dressing room, so the leaders of that dressing room will be Marcus Rashford, Anthony Martial, Bruno and Harry Maguire possibly.
“Harry’s been a very good pro, but after his experience particularly early on in the season, if Rashford pipes up and goes “this is ridiculous, the man doesn’t know what he’s doing,” and two or three others like Bruno and Martial follow, the coup de grace would be Harry Maguire, a model pro, going “yeah you’re absolutely right, look at the way that he treated me earlier on in the season.”
“I wouldn’t be surprised if those few names were the driving force of that dressing room and then added on to that you’ve got the likes of Jadon Sancho of course.
“Ten Hag is on borrowed time.”
The next week could be pivotal not just for Man United’s season, but also for ten Hag’s future employment at the club.
With Sir Jim Ratcliffe believed to be on the verge of making his 25 percent partial takeover official, the Dutchman could really do without losing to any one of Bournemouth, Bayern Munich and Liverpool, all of whom will be played against in the next 10 days.
The outcome of those matches and the manner of the performances could dictate whether there are any wholesale changes both on and off the pitch in due course.