When Manchester United brought Ralf Rangnick in as an interim manager he had one problem to solve, get the best out of the players available!
Since his appointment Rangnick has only added another layer onto the United problem pile by introducing his 4-2-2-2 formation. A total lack of width has seen United reduce their goalscoring opportunities immensely.
When you have a world class striker in Cristiano Ronaldo you must give him the service his talent deserves. Under Solskjaer his inverted wingers were an inconsistent supply to the Portuguese goal machine.
Rangnick has trumped that in his short time at Old Trafford by deciding to offer no width whatsoever! We can only guess at the moment that he is looking for his team in this shape to offer width from his full backs. It is asking alot of them if it is the plan.
He did change that in the second half against Newcastle United where he went to a 4-4-2. Sancho on the right and Rashford on the left. A Cavani goal from a Dalot cross which rewarded the German with a share of the points.
Solskjaer got the sack as his side were in the bottom three teams in the running stats. A team that doesn’t work hard are a team that under achieve. This was no doubt the reason why the former RB Leipzig boss got this opportunity.
In his post match interview against Norwich Rangnick hinted at not liking the body language of some players. Even though this was evident again at St James’s Park he was hesitant to admit it again.
“I don’t think today it was a problem of body language, it was more a question of physicality, of meeting the demands with speed, tempo, physicality, the side effect is the body language afterwards. I don’t think that was the major problem,” said Rangnick.
So the question is why (not only in this Newcastle game) are the players not giving their all? If they were fully focused they would have the understanding that Newcastle was always about winning the battle first to be able to win the war.
If second from bottom Newcastle United can out fight Manchester United and create more chances than them, then what does it say about the personalities ìn the United squad?
This is what Rangnick was brought in to address. Get the most out of this squad. Make them work their ass off and fight for everything. To work hard as a unit and offer a Manchester United on the front foot.
Eddie Howe must have walked off that St James’s Park pitch with pride in how his team hunted down United and forced them into mistakes. He also must have been gutted that they didn’t get the full three points they deserved from the game.
Rangnick needs to get the best out of a fair few under performers. Raphael Varane has been astonishingly poor since his arrival to Old Trafford. His latest performance was as underwhelming as usual.
Sancho showed yet again in his 45 minutes that he severely lacks in an end product. No shots, two crosses and no threat. I don’t get the hype?
Fred was shocking and deserved to be taken off at half-time. What you can say about Fred is that he will give you everything even at the worst of times. Some of the more talented players could do with a bit more honesty like the Brazilian has.
One player that United must wish they had eleven of is Edinson Cavani. His work rate and quality are world class. Rangnick must insist than all players follow Cavani’s lead. He plays with passion for the jersey. An honesty in his play that should make him the first on the team sheet every week he is available.
When you look at the job Ralf Rangnick has with motivating this squad then you understand its a tough job for an interim. To then make his own job even more difficult by changing the shape of the team to the 4-2-2-2 formation is an unwise move during a Christmas period with little time to work on the training ground.
A Manchester United team with world class finishers in Ronaldo and Cavani need good service. The more width and crosses that are produced, the more goals these two legends will add to their tally.
Manchester United fan’s must have been quietly optimistic and hopeful with the promises of Rangnick’s reputation for a high energy gameplan.
Decision Time For Rangnick
Doubts must be already be arising with the Germans failure to energise his team or formulate a gameplan that will benefit his players attributes.
With only six months to turn fortunes around Rangnick is making a big mistake. He cannot fit square pegs into round holes by forcing a system on a squad of players that don’t suit it.
The interim boss must start to get the best out of what he has by using a system that compliments them. While at the same time staying true to his vision of a high energy high press tactic.
Failure to do so will leave Ralf Rangnick’s reputation in tatters and possibly his Manchester United future.