Manchester United’s players didn’t need to consult their media experts to understand that ‘fan sentiment graphs’ advised against making social media apologies during the weekend. United dropped further points against a relegation-threatened team after another wasteful display in which they failed to capitalize on their superiority. Even so, it was an improvement over their previous meeting.
United players, or at least their advisers, saw the wisdom in tweeting phony apologies to prevent social media criticism, but a failure to accept responsibility for one’s own mistakes has been a frequent theme at Old Trafford in recent years. When a disappointing result occurs, the typical faces are paraded in front of the media to recite all the platitudes about their disappointment, noting the fans”deserve more,’ and concluding with a promise to make things right next time. It’s a rare occurrence.
It may be a tedious topic, but fans would be more sympathetic if a player spoke candidly after a game and defied television preconceptions by displaying personality rather than regurgitating sanitized speech that passes club compliance. United will aim to rebuild their team with great individuals this summer, but maybe the most crucial quality for any new acquisition will be their honesty, as well as their hard work and drive to make things right.
Jude Bellingham, a long-term aim, is demonstrating that he can talk the talk and do the walk once more. He is already a full England international at the age of 18, and, more importantly, he has established himself as a no-nonsense leader in the Borussia Dortmund dressing room.
With his remarkable approach on the pitch, Bellingham sets the bar high. He appears unfazed by any challenge that stands in his way as he drags his side across challenging terrain.
Bellingham put everything he had to offer in his team’s 2-2 draw with Rangers last week. He led by example on yet another poor night, scoring a goal and adding an assist to his tally. After a botched pass, he also demonstrated his enthusiasm and tremendous drive to win when TV cameras caught him launching an x-rated diatribe at teammate Nico Schulz, ten years his senior.
“If Jude has an unbelievable strength alongside his quality as a footballer, it’s that he truly wants to win every game, in training and in competitive games,” manager Marco Rose defended Jude after the match. “Of course he radiates that; you repeatedly communicate that.”
“Jude is defined by his desire to win games and his anger. More of these are truly required.”
Bellingham not only demanded more on the field, but at such a young age, he was the one who faced the media, speaking to broadcasters at full-time about the dismal departure and refusing to hide on a night when his team failed to deliver once more.
He told BT Sport, “It’s a tremendous letdown.” “I believe we have disappointed the fans and employees. They’ve invested a lot in us in order for us to win the tie, and we’ve let them down. If we look in the mirror, we’ll see that we could have accomplished more in the two legs.”
Bellingham and his parents were invited to United’s Carrington training complex two years ago this month, where he met Ed Woodward and Matt Judge, the transfer negotiating combo. Despite a genuine attempt to sign the bright kid, Bellingham chose Dortmund due to their assurances of instant first-team play, a decision that has subsequently shown to be well-founded.
United are prioritizing a new midfield signing this summer, according to club sources, who claim it is the ‘greatest concern’ in their team. Regardless of who takes over as permanent manager, they will be given support to bolster the squad with at least one new acquisition.
Dortmund finally got their hands on Jadon Sancho last summer, but with Erling Haaland due to go this year, there will be a reluctance to let another star player like Bellingham go so quickly.
Former teammate Sancho rushed to Twitter to say, “Jude Bellingham, what a player,” as the English teenager walked off the Ibrox pitch.
It’s possible that their reunion will have to wait until next year.