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Eric Bailly’s odd Man Utd apology sums everything currently wrong with the club – Andy Dunn

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Eric Bailly is one of a number of Manchester United players to make public apologies on social media in recent weeks following defeats to Liverpool and Manchester City

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Paul Pogba limps away from France training with injury

The concept of the player apology is a lousy one, whatever way you look at it.

It is not as though they go out, intending to be rubbish.

It is not as though Eric Bailly thinks it would be a laugh to shank one into his own net.

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It is not as though Aaron Wan-Bissaka gets a kick out of being rinsed by Phil Foden.

It is not as though Fred wants to get shadow-chasing down to a fine art.

It is not as though Harry Maguire has intentionally slowed down to a near-stop.

Should footballers apologise after defeats? Let us know in the comments below!








Eric Bailly put in a poor performance against Manchester City
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Image:

PETER POWELL/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)



A couple of these ­Manchester United ­footballers felt obliged to say sorry for the performance against Manchester City last weekend.

Or at least their social media teams did.

But not only are these sorts of apologies not authentic, they are not required.

If you need an apology from your team if they have played badly, you are not a supporter. End of.

The contract that you sign up for is that your team is just as likely to play poorly as it is to play well.

That’s football, that’s sport.





Occasionally, some bright spark at a club will come up with the old chestnut of ­reimbursing travel costs for fans who went a long way to see their side stink a place out.

It is an unnecessary gesture.

The inconvenience, the slog of getting somewhere, the ­freezing cold, the woeful under-performance of your team… that is what the jeopardy of ­following a club is all about.

What makes these gestures – and these player apologies –even worse is that we know they will probably have originated from some PR people.

There is only one thing worse, for example, than ­Maguire saying sorry for a poor performance, and that is ­Maguire’s social media team saying sorry for a poor ­performance.








Many Manchester United players – including captain Harry Maguire – have apologised in recent weeks
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Image:

PETER POWELL/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)



Who, possibly, thinks this is a good ploy?

Bailly – or his social media people – posted an ­apology ­accompanied by a picture ­montage of his own goal.

Who, on earth, thought that was a good idea?

In essence, of course, it is relatively harmless stuff.

Presumably, the players give the nod to these postings and I’m sure they feel as though they have let the fans down.








Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s team need to improve after the international break
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Image:

OLI SCARFF/AFP via Getty Images)



But the problem is that it feels as though they are merely buying into this whole club ­obsession with social media ‘fan engagement’.

If anyone from Old Trafford should be apologising, it is the sort of characters who think Facebook, TikTok and ­Twitter hits are vitally important to the success of the club.

If anyone from Old Trafford should be apologising, it is the executives who think the Wall Street stock market is the place where points really matter.

If anyone from Old Trafford should be apologising, how about the executives who ­celebrate a commercial deal with a noodle-maker as though it is some sort of triumph?

By the way, it is not just ­Manchester United players who take to social media to ­apologise for poor ­performances. Far from it.

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It is just that they have posted a few more of those poor performances than most elite teams in recent times.

But there is no need. If these social media teams knew ­anything about the devoted football fan, they would know – as long as those players give their all, game after game – he or she doesn’t need an apology.

Sorry should be the hardest word.


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