We may only be four games into the current 2023/24 Premier League campaign, but it has not been a great start for Manchester United and manager Erik ten Hag, as they sit in eleventh place in the top tier table with two wins and two defeats.
Off pitch issues have again blighted the side as well, and it appears the fall out between winger Jadon Sancho and their gaffer is far from concluded at this point. Earlier this month Ten Hag left the 23 year old out of his squad for the clash with Arsenal and at the time he stated that the decision had been taken because the players training performances had dipped below an acceptable standard.
This was immediately rejected by the player who took to social media to explain that he had been made ‘a scapegoat for a long time’ when it came to the issues their first team squad were having. For fans who like a flutter, sites that are not on Gamstop, will undoubtedly be tracking this fall out and there will be odds available on who will win the battle of wills and leave Old Trafford first.
“Please don’t believe everything you read. I will not allow people saying things that is completely untrue, I have conducted myself very well in training this week. I believe there are other reasons for this matter that I won’t go into, I’ve been a scapegoat for a long time which isn’t fair!”
Having moved to Old Trafford from Borussia Dortmund back in 2021 for a reported £73 million, he has struggled to recapture his form, and has only scored nine league goals, with six assists, in his 58 appearances so far, but he sounds determined to improve despite the current stand off.
“All I want to do is play football with a smile on my face and contribute to my team. I respect all decisions that are made by the coaching staff, I play with fantastic players and grateful to do so, which I know every week is a challenge. I will continue to fight for this badge no matter what.”
The surprising thing for fans of the Red Devils will be in the fact that back in February, it seemed Sancho could do no wrong for Ten Hag as the manager described his return to domestic action as being ‘magnificent’. That has now all obviously changed, and on Thursday afternoon, United released a further short statement and the update was simply.
“Jadon Sancho will remain on a personal training programme away from the first-team group, pending resolution of a squad discipline issue.”
It seems the ‘discipline issue‘ may be directly related to the fact that it is also being reported that Ten Hag wished to receive an apology for the ‘scapegoat’ accusation, but Sancho has refused to do so in a public setting, and he now feels emboldened in his view as he believes he is now also the victim of double standards. Whilst I believe some social media submissions have been deleted, Sancho also at one point stated on the site formerly known as Twitter that it was ‘completely untrue’ that he had been left out of the squad that travelled to Arsenal for training performances as Ten Hag had claimed, and this also severely irked the manager.
It is believed that United football director, John Murtough, and chief executive, Richard Arnold, at the centre of the efforts to resolve the growing dispute.
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