Sunday, May 22, 2022

Top 3 problems for Ralf Rangnick at Manchester United

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It’s gotten to the point where Manchester United‘s coach needs to make an impassioned plea to his players in a news conference to encourage them to sprint, but Ralf Rangnick is discovering an ever-growing list of issues at Old Trafford.

Manchester United’s performance against Wolverhampton Wanderers in a 1-0 home defeat was one of the worst of the post-Ferguson era, almost solely due to the players’ apparent lack of effort.

Luke Shaw quickly came out and accused some of not playing for the team, and a slew of tales followed claiming the club had major dressing room issues, but what are the fundamental factors impeding Rangnick’s progress?

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Many players Don’t Like it Here


Rangnick’s reality is that more than one or two players want to leave, with Anthony Martial, Jesse Lingard, Dean Henderson, and Paul Pogba all weighing their options. This is a major issue in a locker room, especially if the players who want to leave believe that the organization has mistreated them, whether fairly or wrongly.

Rangnick’s approach requires every player to pull in the same direction, as well as hungry players who want to leave their mark on every encounter. There aren’t enough of these guys at United, and those who want to go are raising a ruckus in the locker room.

Ownership has taken hold

Manchester United’s players have an uncanny ability to force coaches out of their jobs. The squad appears to have a sense of entitlement merely because they play for Manchester United, although they have been crucial players in the club’s worst period in decades.

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Apart from Cristiano Ronaldo and Raphael Varane, these players have nothing to be proud of or complacent about. Manchester United hasn’t won one of the two major trophies since 2013, and they don’t appear to be on the verge of doing so anytime soon.

So why are there so many guys on the team who believe they don’t have to run? Bernardo Silva has won multiple Premier League titles and appeared in a Champions League final, but he still races for every minute on the field.

Whereas Marcus Rashford, a habitual offender when it comes to giving away possession and missing chances, enters the pitch and turns around to face halfway before Joao Moutinho’s strike has even struck the net?

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These players have Neymar’s attitude but none of his talent or accomplishments, and it’s visible to every United fan, and Rangnick can’t succeed with that in his dressing room.

Players unfit for Gegenpressing

One of the more solvable issues for the former RB Leipzig coach is that United lacks a large number of players who are ideal for Gegenpressing. Take a look at Sadio Mane and Mohamed Salah, for example. Both are lightning fast, hardworking, and forthright. Cutting inside and executing a body feint before passing the ball five yards backward to their full-back, United’s wide players love to have time on the ball.

Both Cristiano Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani are getting older, and the former isn’t a particularly good off-ball worker, to begin with, even though some of his teammates are making him look like N’Golo Kante in this respect.

Rangnick needs to overhaul his front line, not in terms of inherent talent, but in terms of players who can counter-press. If the Old Trafford club wants to go down this road, they must be dedicated and willing to bring in players to aid.

With players like Martial, Rashford, Lingard, and Sancho, how can Rangnick expect to implement a hard press from the front? Because he’s so skilled, there’s hope for the latter, but he’s not exactly blessed with natural speed and energy. United must address this, or else Rangnick’s hire will be seen as yet another example of a club’s technical incompetence.

Read: Mauricio Pochettino has reportedly agreed to take over as Manchester United manager next season

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