Old Trafford

Manchester United’s biggest manager-player feuds as Marcus Rashford saga rumbles on

Marcus Rashford met with Erik ten Hag today regarding his future after the England forward’s Belfast blow-out. 

Questions were raised about his time spent partying in a Northern Ireland nightclub before the team’s FA Cup clash with Newport County on Sunday. 

This is not the first instance of United players being caught out – in a club that has a long history of player-manager fallouts. 

These are five of the most infamous incidents…

5. Wayne Rooney

United’s all time leading scorer was the poster boy of the club throughout his 13 years at the club in which he collected 16 trophies including two Champions Leagues and five Premier Leagues.

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But his time at the club came with endless controversies both in his private and sporting life. 

An infamous spat with legendary manager Sir Alex Ferguson arose in 2010 after the England striker handed in a transfer request following the departure of Carlos Tevez and Cristiano Ronaldo. 

Rooney said: “We’d sold Tevez and Ronalso and, when United asked me about it and offered me a five-year deal, it was going to be my last contract in terms of a contract where I was coming into the peak of my career. 

“I really wanted assurances as we were selling these players. It was all quick and something I regret now” – he told the club website in 2022.

The player rebuilt his relationship with the manager and went on to have five more successful years with the club.

4. Cristiano Ronaldo

Image accreditation: Austin Osuide from WikiCommons

Ronaldo’s move back to Old Trafford in 2021 was the stuff of dreams for fans – as one of the clubs greatest ever players returned to where it all began. 

But the hype was short lived as the Ballon d’or winner never hit the height of his first stint at the club and his time was defined by a confrontation with manager Erik Ten Hag. 

After regular games started from the bench the club legend was interviewed by Piers Morgan where the Portuguese player stated he had no respect for Ten Hag and the club had betrayed him. 

The player went on to join Saudi Pro League side Al-Nassar where he was offered the biggest contract in football history.

3. Jaap Stam

Image accreditation: Paul Blank from WikiCommons

When the Dutch defender arrived at Carrington from PSV in 1998 he was tipped to improve the Reds defence that was crying out for a new leader. 

In his three seasons at Old Trafford he won a Champions League, three Premier League titles and an FA Cup. 

Stam’s autobiography Head to Head was released in 2021 – uncommon for a player who is still in the midst of his career – and it was quickly understood why. 

The big Dutchman made several controversial statements including that Ferguson had encouraged players to dive during matches and some other harsh comments about the Neville Brothers. 

Before his departure, Stam stormed out of training and was eventually tracked down by Ferguson who informed him that his United career was over and he would move to Lazio. 

Sir Alex described the ordeal as one of his biggest mistakes. 

2. David Beckham

Image accredditation: Michael Cairns from WikiCommons

Beckham was Ferguson’s star boy as he rose through the academy at Carrington and quickly joined the first team alongside Paul Scholes and the Neville brothers. 

Becks made just under 400 appearances for United, securing 10 major honours including six Premier League titles and the Champions League. 

The young star’s celebrity status skyrocketed in the early 2000s and his relationship with Victoria Beckham turned the player into a household name. 

But the player’s success off the pitch infuriated the United boss and he found himself on the end of Feruson’s infamous ‘hair dryer’ treatment. 

In his recent Netflix series the player highlighted the legendary disagreement concerning agents. 

He said: “He wanted me to go to a certain agent that he knew and I wanted to go to a different agent. He went absolutely mental at me. Mental. He wanted nothing to do with me, to the point where he wouldn’t even talk to me.” 

A deal was signed with Real Madrid and ended the player’s 11-year career at Old Trafford. 

1. Roy Keane

Image accreditation: Kjetilr from WikiCommons

Roy Keane arrived at United as the hardcore, no-nonsense midfielder which brought a ferocious style to the team. 

Whilst time at the club was littered with trophies including seven Premier League titles, four FA Cups and a Champions League – his feud with Ferguson brought an end to an illustrious career.

It all began at a pre-season summer camp in Portugal when Keane rejected an arranged villa stating it was too small for him and his family. 

Keane’s rejection of the villa got back to Fergie and the relationship never recovered and a toxic interview on in-house media channel MUTV condemned the player to leave the club. 

The player and manager are still not on speaking terms. 

Featured Image: Nat Callaghan on Unsplash

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