As the wheel of misfortune takes another turn for Manchester United, the stage has been reached yet again where the main question is “has the manager lost the dressing room?”
It has happened with every manager since Sir Alex Ferguson and every manager recruited under Glazer ownership at Manchester United.
Players’ dedication and commitment to the club is questioned over and again. This week, presumably in an effort to rectify this glaring issue, a story broke that the minority shareholder in waiting, Sir Jim Ratcliffe, intends to return United to a policy of promoting home-grown talent.
Instilling the club’s DNA from an early age, the theory goes, is surely something that will foster a fighting spirit, loyalty, commitment to bleed for the badge and, ultimately, togetherness.
It all sounds logical until you identify some of the main defendants accused of laziness, disinterest and a lack of spirit.
The main culprit of late is surely Marcus Rashford, a home-grown talent.
Another to have been accused of the same on more than one occasion this season is Scott McTominay, another home-grown talent. His failure to track Bruno Guimaraes on Saturday was one of many examples this season.
In recent years, Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard have been accused of the same and, although it’s not quite the same story, the less said about Mason Greenwood, the better.
Dean Henderson practically went on strike because of his desperation to leave the club.
In fact, so many academy graduates have got “above themselves” that there is an argument for doing the opposite to what Sir Jim is planning, and keeping academy stars as far away from the first team as possible. They seem to be the flakiest prima donnas of all.
Over the years, names that spring to mind when you think of United’s greatest warriors, who would spill blood, sometimes literally, for the club, are the Bryan Robsons, the Roy Keanes, Nemanja Vidic, Steve Bruce. None of these came through the academy.
Yes, there have also been one or two home-grown, but the point is, whatever it is that makes a player a proud warrior, it does not seem to be this fictitious “DNA” that everyone – Ten Hag included – likes to bleat on about.
After 14 years of seeing sulking and apathetic performances that insult the fans, the badge and the memory of the great United teams of the past, enough is enough. Let’s not pretend there is a United DNA any more. The only DNA that runs through the club nowadays is Lithuanian-American by way of Wall Street.