The Struggles Under Ralf Rangnick

The 2021-22 season has not improved for Manchester United and their supporters. The team lost 4-0 away to Brighton and Hove Albion in their penultimate match. Much of the blame was put on the players, with fans chanting, “You’re not fit to wear the shirt.”

They were lazy, lacking in spirit, and generally squiggly in their approach. However, finger must also be pointed at Ralph Rangnick who was a mixed character. The interim manager had some noteworthy results but United played tepid football in the other matches.

The decision to appoint him following the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has divided the fan base ever since. Is it the right call for the present or for stability in the future? The questions were endless.

The right decision with Ralph?

Ralph Rangnick would not want to witness the highlights of his time as interim manager. But did United miss a ploy by hiring him in the first place? It was definitely a left-wing movement. The Red Devils have been strongly linked with Antonio Conte, who left Inter last summer. Conte seemed to be the perfect man who could help turn the club’s fortunes around as he showed with the Nerazzurri.

However, the board went in a different direction by declaring Rangnick in charge until the end of the season. This is where things get fun and confusing. Rangnick has been credited with overseeing the transformation at Hoffenheim and RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga.

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He was a mentor to Jürgen Klopp, Thomas Tuchel, Ralph Hasenhuttl and others. Furthermore, Rangnick was called “Father GegenpressingAnd embraced the philosophy of domination over opponents.

In fact, there were many supporters who were happy with this “cultural” designation and are not in a hurry to sign a big name at the moment. There was real hope that Rangnick would be able to lead a more subtle and positive style of play that would evolve into a stable one. The reality wasn’t that great.

Players and tactics don’t mix

There was initial optimism about Rangnick as Manchester United appeared to have turned a new leaf. United did not lose a league game in December with three wins and a draw under Rangnick. In fact, January and February combined saw only one loss out of nine matches.

However, scoring remained a glaring problem as United scored just 20 goals from Rangnick’s appointment to February. The team was not playing great, but it was adapting due to moments of inspiration or the weakness of the opponents.

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Rangnick couldn’t do much sidelines as the players’ shoulders collapsed. He revealed that the team needs a major overhaul with several players unsuitable for their roles. Meanwhile, United will start to suffer losses against Atletico Madrid, Manchester City, Everton, Liverpool and Arsenal.

It was painful to watch the fans with the players not performing as expected. Bruno Fernandes seems to have lost the scoring touch and missed two penalties in crucial confrontations. Harry Maguire had a crisis of confidence with Marcus Rashford.

Cristiano Ronaldo was so cold that his work rate became a major talking point. The midfield was crossed in almost every game and Nemanja Matic had to cover at times. Therefore, it was not surprising that Rangnick could not do much in the face of such problems.

However, even his cultivation methods were under the scanner. There was little evidence of what he was teaching the players because they failed to withstand most opponents.

Ralph Rangnick was honest but what’s more?

Before the match against Brighton, Ralph Rangnick threw a big bombshell. The coach revealed that he pushed the club’s board of directors to sign a striker in January. This came against the background of the departure of Anthony Martial on loan, Mason Greenwood suspended and Edinson Cavani injuries for long periods.

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However, according to Rangnick, the council refused to sign, believing that there was no viable option.

It was clear from this exchange that the superiors did not want to disrupt the team before the arrival of a new permanent manager. Therefore, Eric Ten Hag is expected to have money to spend. Rangnick was clear that a complete overhaul of the current squad was needed. However, in his era, there was little shift in fortunes. He’s tried three in the back, five in the back, and two forwards, but nothing seems to work.

Rangnick has been out of range of running a team from the bunker for a long time and that may have taken its toll. United need to give Ten Hag the required time and it is dependent on Rangnick remaining in his advisory role.