Man Utd’s problematic dressing room

Erik ten Hag arrived at Manchester United on a mission to put an end to player power, but one man alone cannot fix a culture that has been brewing for more than a decade

It began with Alejandro Garnacho turning up late for breakfast during Erik ten Hag’s first pre-season tour as Manchester United manager. Then Cristiano Ronaldo started leaving matches early, even when he was supposed to come on as a substitute. The Portuguese later gave an unauthorised and explosive interview to Piers Morgan, firing shots in all directions, including at his manager. Then Marcus Rashford was late for a team meeting and dropped from the starting line-up.

A blissfully quiet few months with little to report on in the form of dressing room politics then passed, only to be followed by one negative story after another to greet the new season. First Jadon Sancho didn’t train hard enough and when he was bluntly told so, fired back in an angry social media post. Days later, Antony was accused of violence against women and took a leave of absence to deal with the allegations – which he denies.

Anthony Martial turned up at training at the wrong time before Rashford visited a nightclub after the humiliating defeat in the derby by Manchester City in October. Three months later, Rashford missed training after a wild drunken night out in Belfast and lied to the club about his whereabouts. Then, on the lower end of the scale, last Saturday, Garnacho liked a tweet criticising Ten Hag after the 2-2 draw with Bournemouth.

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