big flaws | 

Manchester United's prima donnas will turn against Ralf Rangnick - they can't help themselves

This United dressing room is made up of a cast of superstars whose collective egos are far more powerful and destructive than their cumulative talents.
Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick reacts REUTERS/Scott Heppell

Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick reacts REUTERS/Scott Heppell

Kevin Palmer

Well, that didn't take long.

Ralf Rangnick was only appointed as interim Manchester United manager on November 29th and already, familiar stories are emerging from the camp suggesting they are unhappy with the new regime.

As was the case with Louis van Gaal, Jose Mourinho and then Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, this United dressing room is made up of a cast of superstars whose collective egos are far more powerful and destructive than their cumulative talents.

We need your consent to load this Social Media content. We use a number of different Social Media outlets to manage extra content that can set cookies on your device and collect data about your activity.

The only consistent theme in the post-Alex Ferguson era at United has been evolved around a familiar narrative that is injected into the club by players who have run the show for far too long.

Leaks emerging in newspapers suggesting the mood at United's Carrington training base is sullen are nothing new, with reports that players are unhappy with the changes Rangnick has made not surprising given the track record of this squad.

With too many senior professionals earning huge money and not part of the first team starting line-up, leaks to the media from disgruntled players are inevitable and in the opinion of former Ireland and Liverpool striker John Aldridge, the story may get worse before it gets better.

"We have seen it time and again with these United players and we shouldn't be surprised that they are moaning again now, if that is the case," Aldridge told

"This manager has only been in place for a few weeks and already, we are seeing stories saying the players don't like what they are being asked to do and we shouldn't be surprised.

"Rangnick has come in and wants to play a pressing game like Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool. That is the German way and he will try and implement that.

"The trouble is, there are players in that United dressing room who won't do that. It explains why some of them have ended up at United rather than Liverpool or Manchester City. They are not prepared to work as hard as Klopp or Pep Guardiola would want and Rangnick is finding that out now.

"Will someone like Paul Pogba play a high-energy pressing game if he ever gets back to fitness and plays for United again? Of course not. He will run down his contract, get a free transfer next summer and make a fortune again. That's what he's all about and there are a lot of players like him at United.

"Cristiano Ronaldo's body language on the pitch has been miserable over the last few weeks, Bruno Fernandes is going around moaning at everyone and telling them what to do when he's not doing it himself and the whole is a mess.

"Liverpool fans are loving Manchester United's demise and unless some of these players change their ways, nothing will change. Rangnick will try and enforce his methods, but I don't think he has the players to make it happen at United."

It is a damning assessment of United's plight heading into 2022 and with Tottenham and Arsenal heading in the forward direction in the battle to secure a top four finish in the Premier League, we may not be far away from the club's fans turning against players that appear to be incapable of living up to their billing and status.

United supporters have shown how vocal they can be when they turn against owners they don't like, but the players who have continued to let them down have escaped their wrath more often than not.

Unless attitudes change on and off the pitch very quickly, the New Year could get very messy for a set of a collection of players who have yet to prove they are worthy of wearing the Manchester United jersey.

Today's Headlines

More Soccer

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices