Manchester United have an attitude problem and their stroppy stars are giving Ralf Rangnick his first MAJOR headache as interim manager, with morale low at the training ground and players struggling to adjust to sessions
- Manchester United looked disjointed against Newcastle in their 1-1 draw
- There is dressing room unrest and Ralf Rangnick has problems to resolve
- Bit-part players such as Eric Bailly and Jesse Lingard are growing frustrated
- Gary Neville took aim at the body language of Cristiano Ronaldo on Monday
Ralf Rangnick is facing his first major challenge as Manchester United’s interim manager as he tries to sort out the dressing room unrest left behind by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Former United defender Gary Neville highlighted the divisions in Rangnick’s team after Monday’s draw at Newcastle in his role as a Sky Sports pundit.
It was clear from an insipid display that Rangnick will need time to address United’s problems, and more concerns were raised over the attitude of the players. Having criticised their body language in a narrow 1-0 win over bottom-of-the-table Norwich last time out, the German preferred to focus on the lack of physicality against second-from-bottom Newcastle.
Manchester United’s stars have an attitude problem and Ralf Rangnick needs to fix it
The interim boss was far from pleased with what he saw against Newcastle on Monday
However, Neville didn’t hold back as he took aim at Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes.
Ronaldo once again made a hasty exit at the final whistle and questions remain over his lack of chemistry with certain team-mates, notably Mason Greenwood.
Neville also hinted at a leadership struggle between Ronaldo and Harry Maguire and it’s understood that the United skipper has been more subdued since Ronaldo returned to the club.
Frustrated Fernandes has struggled in Rangnick’s new 4-2-2-2 formation and Neville was angry at the way the Portuguese duo behaved towards their younger team-mates.
‘Something isn’t right in there,’ he said. ‘There is definitely whingeing going on. They are all at each other. The spirit of a dressing room is really important and I don’t think they’re all with each other at the moment.’
The mood at the training ground is said to be very low and concerns over dressing room cliques have not been helped by an upgrade to the canteen that has seen six four-seater booths installed.
The players are struggling to adjust to Rangnick’s later training sessions and left in the dark at 5pm on Tuesday.
Aside from the problems clearly evident on the pitch at Newcastle, Anthony Martial has told Rangnick he wants to leave just weeks after the new manager replaced Solskjaer.
Cristiano Ronaldo marched down the tunnel at full time without acknowledging fans
United have rejected an opening loan offer from Sevilla because it only covered part of Martial’s £200,000-a-week wages.
Sportsmail understands goalkeeper Dean Henderson also wants talks with Rangnick after growing frustrated over his lack of playing time.
Henderson has appeared just twice this term after struggling with Covid. David de Gea has regained his best form and the No 1 spot.
Henderson is believed to regret signing a new contract in the summer of 2020 but is unlikely to leave before the end of the season with Rangnick keen to have three senior goalkeepers.
Eric Bailly has also questioned his decision to sign a new deal last year as he continues to be left out despite United’s problems in central defence. Bailly is said to have openly challenged Solskjaer’s decision to play a half-fit Maguire at Leicester in October.
The Ivory Coast defender has only played five times this season and was surprised to receive a call at the airport on Monday informing him that he would be needed against Burnley tomorrow just as he was about to fly to the Africa Cup of Nations.
Jesse Lingard is one of the bit-part players wanting more action for the first team
Gary Neville has been critical of key players whining and complaining at the club
Although Solskjaer was a hugely popular figure at United, his tendency to avoid confrontation often led to problems behind the scenes.
Players such as Martial, Henderson, Bailly, Jesse Lingard and Donny van de Beek were given assurances over their roles only to be left out.
Van de Beek saw a move to Everton blocked by United in the summer but he continues to be a peripheral figure under Rangnick.
Lingard is another player unhappy with a bit-part role even though United rejected interest in him from six clubs before the start of the season.
The 29-year-old will leave at the end of his contract in June but is unlikely to be allowed to go out on loan next month — unlike Phil Jones who is desperate to play after two years out. Like Lingard, Paul Pogba will also be a free agent in the summer and can negotiate with foreign clubs from next week.
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