Football

Report: Manchester United Avoided Antonio Conte Due To Demands He Makes Of His Players

Report: Manchester United Avoided Antonio Conte Due To Demands He Makes Of His Players

It is becoming quickly apparent that sacking Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has not made all of Manchester United’s problems magically disappear.

While Ralf Rangnick did manage to pick up a few points in his opening few fixtures in charge of the side, the performance levels largely left plenty to be desired. That ultimately caught up with them in the game against Wolves as they fell to a 1-0 defeat at Old Trafford.

All of the same issues that were present under Solksjaer remain under the new manager. The team seems incapable of pressing and lacks energy and creativity in the final third. Individual errors at the back are also a theme this season.

Remarkably, there have already been murmurings that the squad are not happy with Rangnick’s training methods. A huge number of players are said to be discontented with his approach and are considering their future at the club.

Such an attitude from a group of players that (with a couple of exceptions) have achieved relatively little in the game certainly does not reflect well on the squad. In fact, it may have been this very attitude that saw United miss out on what seemed like an obvious managerial upgrade.

During the tail end of Solskjaer's tenure, Antonio Conte was seen as the obvious candidate to replace him. The Italian has a track record of success at the top level and would have quickly improved things at United. However, the club's hierarchy opted against recruiting him. We may now have an idea why.

Mail Sport are reporting that Manchester United opted against Antonio Conte as their next manager as they felt he would have demanded too much from their current squad and the players would not have been able to cope.

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A source told the newspaper:

If Conte tells a player to do six things then he wants to see them do all six.

He wants to be able to programme players to the minute details. We were not sure that was a great fit for us.

Conte is known for demanding nothing but the best from his players, but United clearly felt that he would perhaps ruffle a few too many feathers amongst their playing personnel. That is a damning indictment of a squad that is one of the most expensively assembled in the history of football.

Clearly, there seems to be some attitude issues in this team. The likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Raphael Varane aside, very few names in that dressing room have achieved anything of note in recent seasons.

As for Conte, he has immediately improved the fortunes of Spurs. They look like a far more cohesive unit already and are probably more likely to finish in the top four than United as things stand. It would have been interesting to see what he could have done with the United squad.

Their apparent discontent under Ralf Rangnick is remarkable and would point to the main underlying issue at Old Trafford: this group of players. There are certainly some massive egos on show, ones that aren't really justified.

Whoever is their next permanent manager, they will have quite the job to unite the group he will inherit.

SEE ALSO: The 10 Best January Transfer Window Signings In Premier League History

Gary Connaughton

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