Man Utd, his worst enemy, while Erik ten Hag is faced with reality before the squad’s visit

Problems within the Manchester United squad are bubbling under the surface and earlier this week it finally surfaced, giving Erik ten Hag another job to tick off his to-do list.

Erik ten Hag will have his work cut out to try to unite his Manchester United team
Erik ten Hag will have his work cut out to try to unite his Manchester United team

The latest example of division and crippling morale in Manchester United’s dressing room only serves to show Erik ten Hag what he has in store for next season.

On Friday, it was reported that two senior Man United players had been involved in a scuffle at their training complex in Carrington, forcing caretaker manager Ralf Rangnick to prematurely end training. The unnamed duo reportedly engaged in a ‘full blowout’ at the end of the Red Devils’ session, forcing Rangnick to send his players back to the locker room, where you would assume the tension was palpable enough to cut with a knife.

The club’s silence on the matter speaks volumes about the issue at hand: no amount of damage control or PR rotation will convince fans that everything is rosy – because it’s not. A club the size of United shouldn’t be content to finish sixth or seventh in the Premier League after spending £120m in the summer as well as going five years without a trophy, and players have spoken at length about their collective disappointment.

But for Ten Hag, it points to an obvious problem early in his tenure that Rangnick has failed to fix. A manager can sign as many new players as he wants to a squad, but without some sense of unity or chemistry between the players, there’s almost no chance the Dutchman will assemble a team that can vie for the honors.

It’s certainly no surprise that the 52-year-old is considering taking part in United’s final game of the season on Sunday, according to The Express. If there are any bad eggs in this United team, he needs to know first-hand which ones need to be discarded before his big clean up this summer. There simply can’t be room for leaks about team news or players feeling displeased with quirky training methods next season if United are to repair their reputation.

There are obvious frustrations within the cast that they have left a lot to be desired this season. Harry Maguire, Marcus Rashford and Aaron Wan-Bissaka are just a few names that have been regulars over the past three years but have struggled to show any real signs of progression in their careers. The abuse players receive, combined with their own boiling tempers, makes for a toxic atmosphere. But a look at Liverpool and Manchester City shows that incidents like these, if they happen, rarely reach the public because they are very tight-knit groups.

Two unidentified Manchester United players had to be separated after a scuffle at the training ground

Give your opinion! Which players need to be sold this summer after the last defeat at Man Utd? Comment below.

United are a stark contrast to the club he is leaving at Ajax, who have just been crowned Eredivisie champions for the third time in Ten Hag’s fifth season at the club. Players are praised by fans and are similarly close to each other. Trust breeds trust, and winning ends up improving the mood inside a locker room. Compare that to United, where every defeat seems to need a three-day inquiry – although few can deny that the terrible 4-0 defeat at Brighton deserved it.

Ten Hag would have been aware of the problems at the club before putting pen to paper on his three-year contract. And there is no doubt that he has been tasked with resolving the chaotic situation United currently find themselves in, including creating a happier and more positive environment within the club.

But perhaps this latest incident has brought the highly rated manager down to earth about how difficult it will be to fix this. Forget transfers or high-speed football, getting this team to live up to the Manchester ‘United’ name might be Ten Hag’s toughest challenge.

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