REVEALED: Players have 'stopped trying' and discord over Rooney treatment... what's really gone wrong at United since Fergie left

David Moyes

There is a feeling among key figures that some older players have been unable to accept change. The majority of footballers find it easier to adapt. They move clubs, see managers come and go.

But Moyes has inherited a squad that has been together for a long time in an unusually stable environment. Of the 31 members of the senior squad, 18 have been at the club for more than three years; 14 of those more than five.

Clearly, some of the older players are not the force they were. Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic can no longer command a penalty area in the manner they once did and Ferguson’s exit seems to have hastened their decline. Ferdinand, 35, increased the pressure on Moyes last month when he bemoaned his habit of announcing his match-day team at the last minute. 

Ferdinand complained it had turned him into ‘a madman’, saying: ‘You spend a lot of nervous energy thinking, “Am I playing?” or “Am I not playing?” and you’re just going round in circles in your head.’

Would he have dared challenge the authority of Ferguson in such a way, particularly when, back at Old Trafford, his words were felt to be more than a little misleading. When Ferdinand was a central  figure at United, Ferguson would give him advanced warning that he wanted him fit and prepared for a particular game.


Discord over Rooney treatment

Rooney is already central to his manager’s plans even if Chelsea’s Jose Mourinho is sure to come calling again, on this occasion possibly offering the Champions League football that might not be available at Old Trafford next season.

Some players feel Moyes went overboard in his praise of Rooney earlier this season. Moyes might argue he needed to give his attention to Rooney after the England striker had told Ferguson he wanted to leave. He might also point to how successful his management of Rooney has proved.

In the mind of some players, however, Ferguson had been more than justified in isolating Rooney as in recent seasons Ferguson had been forced to reprimand Rooney.

The change in attitude towards Rooney between the two managers has not sat comfortably with all of United’s players.

There are some who believe Ferguson’s ruling of Rooney with an iron fist was the correct approach.
Others are operating on a baser emotion, resentful of the special attention  and playing time  Rooney is getting.

More on this story on Daily Mail

By AFP 3 hrs ago
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