Manchester United are being given a helping hand by Arsenal and Chelsea
It was a pre-season tour related act of rebellion that left the side chasing a top four spot next season shaken. In a summer that should have been about improving a squad and closing the gap on the teams above them, now there is something of a crisis to deal with.
It’s a scenario Manchester United might have feared last week after Paul Pogba and his agent Mino Raiola went public on his desire to leave the club, but a turn of events that Arsenal almost certainly didn’t see coming.
Laurent Koscielny has been the consummate pro for the Gunners, a reliable rock in a defence that has managed to be more vulnerable than United’s in recent seasons, so Arsenal’s statement confirming he had refused to go on tour came as a major shock.
“We are very disappointed by Laurent’s actions, which are against our clear instructions,” read the Arsenal statement.
United staff might have allowed themselves a wry smile at the sudden storm brewing in north London. While Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and club officials have spent the first couple of weeks of pre-season on the back foot, this is a reminder that the teams immediately above them aren’t exactly disappearing over the horizon.