Man United passed on Antonio Conte over a fear that players would down tools

Antonio Conte was available to take over Man United in November. But the Old Trafford faithful decided not to go for the Italian.

Instead, the club appointed Ralf Rangnick on an interim basis. The German is renowned for taking over struggling teams and helping them perform to the best of their ability. But the 63-year-old is yet to prove to United fans that he’s capable of discovering the maximum potential of the players.

The Manchester club has only lost one game during Rangnick’s tenure so far. However, that number would be higher without some heroics from David De Gea. The main issue at the club right now is the squad’s attitude. Following their 1-0 loss against Wolverhampton Wanderers on Monday night, United defender Luke Shaw had a few choice words for his teammates.

In an interview with Sky Sports, he said: “I didn’t feel that we were all there together. We felt like we were struggling. You look at our squad, you look at our team, and we have unbelievable quality. I think sometimes quality isn’t enough.”

“We need to bring the intensity. We need to be more aggressive, and we need to bring more motivation. We need to give 100 per cent. We all need to be 100 per cent committed.”

Read: Rio Ferdinand pinpoints “concerning” Man United problem in an honest assessment.

Why didn’t Man United want Conte

The decision to select Rangnick was not easy for The Red Devils. United looked at a plethora of top-class managers before settling on the 63-year-old.

According to The Daily Mail, the club’s footballing department seriously considered Conte for the role. But they felt his precise micro-coaching style would not suit the players at Old Trafford.

A United source said: ‘If Conte tells a player to do six things, then he wants to see them do all six immediately.” These demands didn’t fit with player attitudes.

However, Conte didn’t have to wait too long before securing a new position. In November, the 52-year-old joined Tottenham Hot Spur and has taken the team from strength to strength. The London side has been unbeaten in the Premier League since the Italian took over and have begun their fight for a Champions League place.

The future of the Red Devils

It’s easy to place the blame on Rangnick. After all, his track record would suggest that the role at The Theatre of Dreams is perfect for him. But perhaps the challenge at Old Trafford is too great.

There are multiple members of the squad who are disinterested in playing for the club. Therefore unless The German can somehow find a way to motivate his unenthusiastic squad, then 2021-22 could be another disappointing campaign for United fans.

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