Home » Laurie Whitwell says Manchester United more ‘open’ to players speaking out behind club’s back

Laurie Whitwell says Manchester United more ‘open’ to players speaking out behind club’s back

by Derick Kinoti

Over the last few weeks, there has been a stream of Manchester United players going rogue and speaking out, sometimes in a negative light, towards the club.

While supporters have largely welcomed such boldness and bravery by players to speak against their employers, it is no secret that their revelations dent the club’s reputation publicly.

Eric Bailly, who is currently on loan from United with Marseille, came out accusing the Red Devils of favouring English players – in a thinly-veiled attack against Harry Maguire –  sometimes at the expense of winning.

Anthony Martial recently gave an explosive interview in which he accused Ole Gunnar Solksjaer of playing him injured, terming his treatment as an injustice.

Dean Henderson, currently on loan at Nottingham Forest, also pointed an accusing finger at the club for lying to him about his playing time and hampering his development.

In an exercise conducted by The Athletic in which fans were allowed to ask Laurie Whitwell questions, the issue of rogue players came up and what United are planning to prevent such incidents from happening.

On Martial, Bailly and Henderson Whitwell said, “They had all experienced a build-up of frustrations over several months, if not years. It does not reflect well on United’s functioning that players are prepared to go on record with complaints, and concerns they raise do demand consideration.”

“Players want to protect their reputations and show they care. Regarding the trio you mention, United may dispute some versions of what went on. It is unlikely any will face sanction.”

On United’s strategy to deal with these issues and keep players from bad-mouthing the club, he said “Generally, United have moved to a position of seeing value in players speaking to the media.”

“It increases a connection between them and fans — a link that has appeared severely damaged over the past year.”

“It encourages honest speaking in the dressing room.”

The reliable journalist also said that this strategy is spearheaded by Erik ten Hag, who wants brave characters in his team that are not afraid of airing out their thoughts and opinions.


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