football

Sir Alex Ferguson's advice speaks volumes after Man Utd training ground spat


A recent training ground bust-up at Manchester United has only emphasised the extent of the club’s demise in the years since Sir Alex Ferguson departed, as his advice of late speaking volumes

Sir Alex Ferguson's advice speaks volumes about the extent of Manchester United's woes following a recent training ground bust-up
Sir Alex Ferguson’s advice speaks volumes about the extent of Manchester United’s woes following a recent training ground bust-up

Sir Alex Ferguson ‘s words are ringing more true than ever before in the wake of Manchester United ‘s recent training ground bust-up.

The Red Devils rounded off a calamitous campaign with a 1-0 defeat to Crystal Palace on Sunday to finish sixth as this season saw the club register their worst Premier League points tally in history. United have hogged the headlines for all the wrong reasons this campaign and once again drew unwanted attention in the build-up to their season finale at Selhurst Park.

It was recently revealed that two members of United’s fractured dressing room were embroiled in a training ground altercation which forced interim manager Ralf Rangnick to intervene. It has now emerged that the two players in question were left-back Alex Telles and aspiring midfielder Hannibal Mejbri.

The unsavoury episode, which occurred just days after United were battered 4-0 by Brighton, was said to have left the squad ‘stunned’ and was somewhat symbolic of the shocking season the club have endured. The incident also highlights how far United have fallen in the years since Ferguson departed, with his advice of late speaking volumes.

Ex-United midfielder Quinton Fortune recently opened up on the influence of his former manager at Old Trafford, confessing that the legendary Scot has identified one key area which incoming boss Erik ten Hag must address upon his arrival at the club. That concern related to United’s broken dressing room.

Fortune said: “I was very fortunate to listen to the boss [Sir Alex Ferguson] at Carrington a few weeks ago and he mentioned a simple thing like the team spirit we had when we ate together at the canteen It’s something very simple, that a lot of people miss out on, but that created that bond – not just in the players – but everyone in the staff at Carrington.

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Ralf Rangnick was reportedly forced to intervene after Alex Telles and Hannibal were involved in an altercation in training
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Image:

Ash Donelon/Manchester United via Getty Images)

“It played an important part of a successful club to create the team spirit, because we have amazing individuals, as you can see, but we’re not always playing as a team. We want players to want to come to Carrington and put on a red jersey.

“We know the talent is there. The style of football, which I’m sure he’ll implement, needs time and to bring in the right characters, but create a team that is going to play for each other, play for the club and enjoy it. We need players to go out there with a smile on their face and, when you do that, everything else follows.”

It appears Ferguson was right with regard to the most pressing issue Ten Hag must fix having officially arrived at Old Trafford on Monday. The bust-up between Telles and Hannibal only emphasised the extent of just how fractured United’s current dressing room is.

Former Ajax boss Ten Hag has already begun the process of overhauling the squad he has inherited, having identified the players he must keep, those he must offload and the targets he wants to sign. On Monday, the Dutchman reaffirmed his desire to “renew the squad”.

Ten Hag told Man United’s official website: “First, we have a break. We will start pre-season on 27 June and I will get a few of the squad, [a few] of the individual players. In certain positions we want to renew the squad, but as I said, one year ago, this squad was second in the league, so there is potential and I’m really looking forward to co-operating with the squad.”

Given United’s recent woes, there can be no hiding from the fact Ten Hag faces a number of enormous challenges in his bid to bring success back to Old Trafford. One of the biggest will undoubtedly be restoring harmony within United’s ranks.

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