Arguments over who should be Manchester United captain led to serious problems in the dressing room last season, the BBC claims.
United’s terrible performances on the pitch in the 2021/22 season were accompanied by several reports of dressing room rifts and bust-ups.
There has been much speculation as to the nature of the fights that led to a massive divide among the squad.
And a new report from The BBC’s Simon Stone has cast light on the issue.
“Last season could hardly have ended any worse for United as they finished sixth and their trophy-less run extended to a fifth season,” Stone says.
“The squad was split after a disagreement over the captaincy, with Cristiano Ronaldo at its core, which left Harry Maguire unhappy.”
Stone is finally revealing what many fans already suspected.
Maguire’s form over the course of the season was very poor and there seemed little evidence of his ability to motivate and marshall his troops.
The issue of the captaincy was raised at many press conferences, first with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and then with interim manager Ralf Rangnick, both of whom chose to stick by the England man.
On one occasion Rangnick said “”Harry is our captain and he will stay our captain until the end of the season and there is nothing else to add on to that.” (Source: Eurosport).
As for the coming season, new manager Erik ten Hag will have to decide what the best solution is from a team harmony perspective.
The Dutchman has also already been asked about Maguire’s future and whilst he said he looked forward to working with him, he did not confirm his captaincy status.
Yesterday The Peoples Person published details of assistant manager Steve McClaren’s comments on the captaincy, which hinted that the duties might be shared.
If the rift was between the Portuguese (and Portuguese speaking) contingent of the squad – Ronaldo, Fernandes, Dalot, Fred and Telles – and the UK contingent of Maguire, McTominay, Rashford, Sancho, Shaw and Wan-Bissaka, then Ten Hag could try to resolve matters by appointing a player from a “neutral” country as captain, such as David de Gea.