Ralf Rangnick is happy with selection headache thanks to competition in the Manchester United squad
Ralf Rangnick has admitted that he is happy to suffer from a selection headache because of the increased competition in the Manchester United squad. He was speaking ahead of their Premier League match against Leeds United as his side will travel to Elland Road to secure all three points.
Paul Pogba has completely recovered from his injury which had sidelined him for months, having suffered the groin setback during the November international break. Fred recently caught Covid-19, which kept him out of contention for a while, whereas Jesse Lingard was given some time off following his failed move in the January transfer window.
Speaking in an interview with the club’s media (h/t Manchester Evening News), Rangnick revealed that he finds it difficult to choose the starting lineup because of the options at his disposal. However, he added that this is for the better than having limited options available for selection.
“To start with, it is good and important to have Paul back again and available. But obviously we have a high level of competition still, we have Fred, so we have enough players, we have Jesse Lingard in good shape in training, so we still have a high level of competition in each area of the field, of the pitch – be it the backline, the midfield or up front. So right now, it is not easy to decide and choose the right players, but it is better this way, than having only 15 or 16 outfield players available.
For the better?
The interim coach is completely right in this aspect, as it is better to have more depth in the team than to have close to none at all. It has multiple benefits as it allows him to tweak his lineup and system based on the personnel available and the opponents they have to face.
Moreover, it also ensures that the players are forced to give their best at all times. Failure to do so could be costly as they could be leapfrogged by one of their teammates for the starting spot. Here, Pogba, Fred, Lingard, alongside Bruno Fernandes, Scott McTominay, Nemanja Matic and Juan Mata, form the available options for the midfield places.
While some of them are not contenders for the starting spot, they still ensure that we have options to keep the team fresh during the congested fixture list. Plus, we are also safeguarded in the case of an injury or suspension to any of the midfielders.
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As the 63-year-old manager expressed, the situation is the same pretty much across the board, even if questions can be raised about the quality of some of the options. At the same time, the lack of proper man management can lead to unrest which Rangnick should be wary of. Nevertheless, it was wise on the club’s part to not make major changes when we still do not have a permanent manager.
Hence, it is understandable why the Red Devils boss is happy with what he has at hand, considering how he is expected to take over a consultant role behind the scenes after this season. Let’s hope that the players repay the trust the manager has put in them in the fixtures to come.