Manchester United’s dressing room is in excellent spirits ahead of Brighton and Hove Albion contrary to reports of an unhappy atmosphere under Jose Mourinho.
The club’s pre-season was a turbulent, shaky affair, with ten players missing, others injured, and no new signings arriving compounding Mourinho’s frustration in the United States.
Amid all of that, however, the dressing room has been a notably buoyant place, showing no signs of discord or gloom like many tabloids have claimed.
As you can see here, the recent ‘JLingz challenge’ – which tasks people with performing strange hand tricks on Instagram – was tried out in the Man United dressing room with hilarious results.
— United Xtra (@utdxtra) August 15, 2018
What we see in the press and from interviews may as well exist in a different universe to what actually goes on within the dressing room. The tendency to conflate the two is a dangerous one, because it implies we – the public – can gauge the mood of a dressing room. And we just can’t.
Little snippets like these, however, can be comforting. They show these United players to be somewhat like us: fraternising, joking around, laughing, playing music, on their phones a lot of the time. And, just like with us, it is futile to try and gain an understanding of overarching mood of the group.