It has been an unedifying spectacle at times watching Manchester United this season. Not particularly the football for all that their position in the table and their exit from the Champions League this week reflects accurately where they sit.
But for the complaints, the petulance, the body language and the frustration as their season has unravelled before their eyes. As the club approach the final nine games of a season which started in a blaze of hope with the triumphant capture of Cristiano Ronaldo but degenerated into a dogfight for an unlikely scrap off the top table, one thing is clear.
Whoever takes over as their new manager must bang heads together to get the squad to channel ALL their energies into driving the club forward next season. The list of culprits is obvious to all who have watched closely. It started with Cristiano Ronaldo, rippled through the ever-flapping Bruno Fernandes, captain Harry Maguire and even David De Gea.
It has manifested itself, too, in entitled performances from Marcus Rashford, whose form has gone off a cliff while he has looked everywhere for reasons but in the mirror. And it has ripped through the fringes where dissatisfied players are unable to command a first-team peg.
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“I don’t think he’s telling [all]. I know he’s being honest in those interviews after the game but I don’t think he’s telling us half the stuff [that’s going on].” The next man – whoever it ends up being – in the dugout needs to ensure pundits like Neville don’t have to present such such theories.
United must address the deep-rooted problems clearly present as a matter of priority. Only then will they be able to begin to plan to challenge for top domestic and continental honours once more.