Manchester United once was a club feared for their on-pitch resilience and ability to turn around matches late, i.e., in injury time. The departure of Sir Alex Ferguson in 2013 was a landmark moment in the club’s recent history. In the ten years since he left the managerial role, United have won four trophies; in the last ten years with Ferguson, there were 18 titles! Of course, not all this is related to Ferguson, but for most of the transfers he got it right.
What a difference a decade makes! Within a year, the club has to deal with two players who are alleged to have attacked their partners/girlfriends. And although the case against Mason Greenwood was dropped, there will always be a residue remaining – on both sides. The latest are accusations against Anthony, a Brazilian player whom United signed in 2022. He faces allegations of physical attacks by his girlfriend.
It is indicative of the culture at the club, one is inclined to say. A culture of scouting that seems to give little attention to the personal development of future players. Of course, there is never a guarantee that nothing ever happens – it is, however, an unfortunate coincidence that two players in a relatively short time span at the same club have problems of this sort.
The club have to look after themselves, first and foremost, of course. That is why Greenwood’s contract was terminated. The same scenario is likely to happen in the case of Anthony. His national team, Brazil, have dropped him over the issue and United are once more under pressure for all the wrong reasons.