As Manchester United continue to struggle to produce performances and pick up results, David de Gea suggests that a curse on the club could be preventing them from hitting top form.
The Red Devils are sixth in the Premier League after a draw with Burnley last time out, while they were dumped out of the FA Cup by Championship side Middlesbrough in their previous contest.
Ralf Rangnick’s arrival as interim manager in December has not done a great deal to improve things, with flashes of impressive play under the German, but plenty of turgid displays as well.
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With a squad that would be the envy of most teams in world football, it is something of a mystery to De Gea why United have failed to shine with any kind of consistency.
The poor form is so confusing for the Spaniard that he has suggested the supernatural is behind the Old Trafford woes.
‘I think someone has put a curse on us or something,’ De Gea told Spanish publication El Pais. ‘The truth is I don’t know what’s going on, I really don’t.
‘People always ask me and we talk about it as teammates and we just say, “we don’t know what’s happening”.
‘We should have competed for more trophies, bigger titles, but I just don’t know why this team doesn’t function.’
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Reports emerged on Friday morning suggesting United’s players are growing tired of Rangnick’s methods in training.
Several players are also said to have jokingly compared Rangnick’s assistant, Chris Armas, to TV character Ted Lasso – the hapless American coach on the Apple+ show.
When those claims were put to him on Friday, Rangnick said: ‘I haven’t read any newspapers and don’t know about those articles.
‘What I can assure you is the training is… I mean, the way that the team has developed in the last couple of weeks is obvious tactically. This is due to the work we have been doing in training.
‘Both on the pitch, but also if we do the video analysis with them. The training that we are doing, including all of the important training games and the little games as well as the 11vs11 games.
‘We did a lot of rondos, a lot of those little games to increase fluidity and get better in possession of the ball.’
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