You don't really have to be a genius to deduce that all was not well at Old Trafford this season. Poor results on the field led to divides in the dressing room, in a nasty downward spiral that culminated in David Moyes' sacking and Ryan Giggs being installed on an interim basis.
In an interesting interview with Mark Ogden in the Telegraph today, United's departing captain Nemanja Vidić offered up some tasty scraps on just what went on. Where he didn't, the implication was clear.
"We argued amongst ourselves. This year more than any other, because when you have bad times, people show they care. We are still friends, but we were arguing to get better. We wanted to improve. We could say those things to each other because we have been together for so long, but it hurt. If you didn't argue, it would not be right. We had some hard moments in the dressing room between ourselves."
We could've probably guessed that there were arguments.
"There was a transition. You get someone who sees football in a different way and he will want to put his stamp on the team and the way he wants to play. Ryan [Giggs] shares the same ideas as Sir Alex Ferguson and his was a more similar approach to the one we had with Sir Alex. The players are more used to it and felt more comfortable with it."
Save for the demolishing of relegated Norwich, there seemed to be little on-field difference between the Moyes and Giggs style. But clearly the players took to his Sir Alex stylings a little easier. That could, however, just be because Giggsy wasn't willing to rock the boat and upset his old teammates ...
"I am not saying that the David Moyes way was bad, but these players feel more comfortable playing a certain way of football."
He is saying the David Moyes way was bad.
"You have to respect where you are and what you represent, though, and there is no point speaking about someone who was here, who everyone knows lost his job because he did not succeed in doing what he wanted to achieve. The best answer I can say is that he [Moyes] tried really hard, he was professional."
'He did his best.' That praise is so faint it has collapsed on the floor.
"Look, we are human beings. We do not agree with things all the time, but you have to respect the manager, you have to respect your boss. He is the one who is responsible. What kind of influence would I have on my manager if I said: 'You should play these tactics?' ... Sometimes you have players playing on the wing and if it is a midfield player, he might not be able to perform. "You need time to adapt to a certain style and we didn’t adapt quickly enough. After the results started to be a bit bad, everyone started to get more nervous, then we lost confidence. That is why it was going wrong, and it rolls up and you can’t stop it."
More evidence that the players weren't too happy with Moyes' tactics. Silly Moyes, he should've been more like Giggsy and benched Juan Mata, played Shinji Kagawa as a holding midfielder and that dainty playmaker Marouane Fellaini as a number 10!
When asked whether the now-infamous incident in which Moyes told Rio Ferdinand to 'defend like Phil Jagielka' actually occurred, Vidić dodged the question. He did the same when asked whether he'd have stayed longer if he knew Moyes was going to be canned earlier in the season:
"It is not an easy question to answer." So that is a 'yes,’ then? "It is not a yes."
It's probably a yes.