Erik ten Hag’s public bust-up with Jadon Sancho has become another unsavory talking point and has also fallen foul of one of Sir Alex Ferguson’s main principles.
Ten Hag raised eyebrows in the aftermath of last Sunday’s 3-1 defeat away at Arsenal when he made clear that Sancho was left out of the match-day squad because he wasn’t deserving of a place off the back of his recent training sessions.
The Dutchman told the media: “Jadon, on his performance in training, was not selected. You have to reach a level at Manchester United every day and we can make choices in the front line. So for this game, he was not selected.” The comments clearly irked Sancho, who wasted precious little time in issuing a response that he published for all to see on social media.
The former Borussia Dortmund man wrote: “Please don’t believe everything you read! I will not allow people saying things that is completely untrue”.
“I’ve conducted myself in training very well 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!
“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. I’m grateful to do so which I know every week is a challenge. I will continue to fight for this badge no matter what!”
Both Ten Hag and Sancho have come in for criticism as a result of the way the delicate situation has been handled. However, some old comments from club icon Ferguson show that the current boss also ignored one of the legendary Scotsman’s golden rules.
Speaking in 2009, Ferguson claimed: “I would not criticize one of my own players publicly. When you make public criticism of your players, you damage morale. Your job is to keep it (the dressing room) solid.”
In airing his issue with Sancho, Ten Hag may have escalated the situation further.
Following Sancho’s reply, many fans and pundits alike speculated whether the England international would ever play for United again. It also sparked a plethora of rumours and reports linking the 23-year-old with an exit to Saudi Arabia.
In the end, the winger has stayed put at Old Trafford. But it remains unclear as to whether his issue with the manager has been resolved. Ferguson is unlikely to approve of the way the man currently at the helm of United has dealt with Sancho’s struggles.
With that being said, there are suggestions some sections of the United dressing room have “had enough” of Sancho’s conduct. It is believed a number of Red Devils players feel the £73million man should be operating at a higher level than he currently is.