Ralf Rangnick claims Manchester United are still ‘struggling’ following Wolves defeat
The 13-time Premier League champions lost a home game to Wolves for the first time since 1980 on Monday night. In the context of Rangnick, it is the first game the German has lost in his short tenure at Old Trafford. The reasons were pretty clear too.
The pressing was out of order and inconsistent. The attack was not on the same wavelength as the midfield and vice versa. The same can be said for the defence, and that made it easy for the away side to find spaces in between the lines and cause problems constantly. Nelson Semedo and Marcal, in particular, found joy in the wing-back roles.
Rangnick addressed the issues after the game and claimed Man United still have ‘quite a few steps to take.’
“It was important for me we do not concede that many goals. But again, today against a good team, one of the better teams in possession of the ball and not an easy team to create chances [against] ourselves; it still showed we are struggling, and we have quite a few steps to take.
“As I said, it is always a question of balance. How do you need to create chances offensively, and how compact do you have to be to defend your own goal? And this is what it is all about. Finding the best possible players for the formation and hoping every player plays in his best possible position.”
Another dull performance
Rangnick has now been in charge of six games, and the team is continuing to struggle. The defence, in particular, is looking clueless at times. The attack was always scoring goals, but even they are starting to hit a creative block; that, however, is hardly a surprise since Bruno Fernandes has only played for 30 minutes in the last two games combined.
However, the midfield needs serious surgery soon. Scott McTominay can only do so much, and the 24-year-old is not helped by the ageing legs of Nemanja Matic. The victory against Burnley was a big boost, but one might argue that the Clarets fell on their own sword in midweek while they are also a relegation battling side.
Wolves are a step above, and it showed. We were not able to cope with their intensity or style of play. Rangnick reiterated that it is important to maintain balance. But the lack of understanding between different departments on the pitch naturally hinders any chance of chemistry and cohesiveness.
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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer often offered attractive football, but it always came at a risk. We would have hoped that Rangnick brought the same elements, minus the risk. However, things are not looking good on either end of the pitch, and it is time to find solutions. We only have an FA Cup tie between now and our next league game, and it could be used to gain some rest and start fresh again as we look to gain ground in the Top 4 race.