Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes have been named as two of the senior players believed to be unhappy with recent developments at Manchester United.
Another very poor performance in the Manchester derby on Saturday resulted in a fourth defeat in the last six Premier League games. It was the third of three games manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was initially given to try and turn things around after losing 5-0 at home to Liverpool last month.
United have progressed year on year under Solskjaer since he was appointed, initially on an interim basis, as successor to Jose Mourinho in December 2018.
Summer spending on Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane and Cristiano Ronaldo, on top of the existing improvements, even fostered ambitions of a potential first genuine Premier League title challenge for the first time since Sir Alex Ferguson retired in 2013.
But results and performances so far have fallen far short of those hopes and expectations.
The Daily Mail writes that ‘doubts are growing’ within the squad, with senior players having previously been encouraged by promising signs in summer there would be a strong challenge.
But it is now said that Fernandes, who scored 28 goals in all competitions last season and almost single-handedly revolutionised the team following his January 2020 arrival, is among the players concerned they aren’t being enough of a clear plan by Solskjaer and his staff. It is also said that others have expressed concerns about too many young coaches ‘learning on the job’.
Regarding Ronaldo, the 36-year-old returning Old Trafford legend is described as ‘shocked’ at how far standards at United have fallen since he left in 2009. He was obviously aware that things had changed in those 12 years he spent in Madrid and Turin, but not to the extent they have.
Other feelings of discontent towards Solskjaer from within the dressing room are reported to be that he shows ‘favouritism’ towards certain players and is too soft on the squad as a whole.