Former Manchester United assistant coach Chris Armas has been discussing the chaotic leak culture which undermined the past season at Old Trafford.
Armas was hired by interim boss Ralf Rangnick as an assistant on a short-term role, and said the coaching staff were bemused at the role the media played in United’s season.
There were numerous leaks claiming dressing room unrest, with ESPN claiming players were unhappy with training sessions. The Mirror also suggested there was a split dressing room. The leaks were not exclusive to Rangnick’s tenure, also present under former boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Armas has criticized the leaks and said any players who were unhappy should have spoken directly with him, and also shed light on his conversation with Sir Alex Ferguson.
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Armas hits out at Manchester United leak culture
In an interview with US soccer podcast The Crack Podcast, Armas explained how infuriating he and the coaching staff found the way stories were leaked to the media.
Armas said: “It was always ‘sources say training sucks’. sources say, what sources? If players are saying that why don’t they ever say it. The media was against Manchester United too. You didn’t know where it was coming from.
“Agents, players, it was missiles from everywhere. Even you are trying to build a team, bad results, media, the captain sucks. What are you talking about? Who’s putting that out there?
“We all know the sacredness of a locker room what happens in these walls, that’s not just BS.
“We would have meetings and line-ups were getting out. What? That’s not Ralf Rangnick’s fault.
“Players like Juan Mata come out and say what a session and then reports come out and say ‘training sucks’. It’s not true.”
He also explained how Juan Mata recommended him for a job at Leeds United working under Jesse Marsch, which he ended up choosing not to take for personal reasons.
Armas said: “Juan Mata’s telling the sporting director of Leeds, Chris is an amazing coach, and a good person, hire him immediately. They (Leeds) are telling me this. That’s the respect I know you earn.
“I had a chance to join Jesse Marsch and Leeds and I decided to come home. I made a decision with my family that this was the best thing for us right now. I could have stayed over there. I think the next step for me is to be in MLS to be a head coach again.”
Armas on Sir Alex Ferguson
Armas said he met Sir Alex Ferguson one during Manchester United’s match against Young Boys, when he watched from the stands as he was not in United’s Covid bubble yet.
He denied a report in The Athletic which claimed Sir Alex had scoffed at his lack of experience in European football.
Armas said: “Whoever wrote that should be fired on the spot. People listen to that stuff and its an incredible lie. The season’s done [when the article came out] and its not even true.”
Praise for Fred
Manchester United midfielder Fred told ESPN last month that he also hoped dressing room leaks would be minimized under Erik ten Hag’s reign.
Armas praised the midfielder’s quality and his attitude, commenting: “Fred means that wholeheartedly, if you have a whole team of Freds, you have a whole team that’s together and plays for each other.
“He is a great guy, and he’s a good player. Even him he’d take some heat in the media but he was reliable and a good team guy.”