Ralf Rangnick’s honeymoon at Manchester United is over, as struggles at Newcastle have proven

NEWCASTLE, UK – Ralf Rangnick now knows the true importance of the work he has undertaken as interim manager at Manchester United. When he doesn’t shake his head on the communication line in dismal 1-1 draw against Newcastle on Monday, Rangnick was rubbing his forehead in frustration.

The only positive for replacement Ole Gunnar Solskjaer sacked earlier this month was that his team’s second-half performance was better than the first – but United could barely get any worse.

“I didn’t like the performance at all,” Rangnick said. “Today we didn’t control the game beyond a few moments. It was all about the energy, the physicality and who won the second ball. In all those areas we didn’t. It’s good we got a point but the performance needs to be better.

“You have to be willing and able to win those head-to-head games and this doesn’t happen often. When we took control, we had too many gifts and even with the goal, that’s it. doesn’t make things easy.”

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Thanks to Edinson CavaniThe equalizer in the 70th minute, canceled Allan Saint-MaximinOpening the scoring in the 7th minute, Rangnick was able to extend his unbeaten start as caretaker manager to four games, but United have failed to impress in any of their games. them so far under Schalke, Hoffenheim and RB Leipzig coach.

They worked hard to win 1-0 first Crystal Palace and Norwich City and got a 1-1 draw first Young boys in the Champions League and now against Newcastle at St James’ Park.

A new face in the manager’s chair tends to make for an initial flourish in terms of performance and results as players who have failed under their predecessors find a level of commitment and quality. higher quality to impress their new boss. However, the flourishes under Rangnick have been, at best, fairly flat, and now that the novelty element has worn off after a month at the helm, we’re about to find out how good he is at all as a player. a coach and manager.

We already know about the Manchester United players. They have shown their shortcomings in four defeats in seven games, costing Solskjaer his job. What Rangnick has to do now is find a way to get those players to raise their game steady enough to put United back in the race for fourth place and Champions League place – but in terms of poor performances. their poor, sporadic performance against Newcastle, it will not be an easy task.

Of course, there are some mitigations for Rangnick. This is Man United’s first game in 16 days after the COVID-19 outbreak at Old Trafford, which led to the postponement of matches with Brentford and Brighton, so there will always be an element of teasing with Eddie Howe’s team.

But United have now returned to full training for a week, so there is no excuse for their first-half performance that saw them overwhelmed by a Newcastle team that have been given a football lessons in their last game, when they lost 4-0 at home first City of Manchester eight days before.

Newcastle, with just one win all season, dominated United in all areas of the pitch.

Cristiano Ronaldo isolated at the front as Newcastle disabled the wingers Marcus Rashford and Bruno Fernandes. Meanwhile, Jonjo Shelvey and Joelinton, converted by Howe from a misguided forward to a box-to-box midfielder, controlling the central third of the pitch vs. Fred and Scott McTominay. Fight back, Harry Maguire and Raphael Varane played as newcomers at centre-back for United, losing both man and the ball multiple times in one foul performance.

United did not have strong coordination and pressure, and certainly did not control the game. All the while, Rangnick watched in bewilderment and disbelief at his hugely expensive team performing as a bunch of strangers.

Not until Cavani, the replacement for Mason Greenwood, entered the war where United began to look like a team. Before Paris Saint-Germain Up front always brings a great work ethic and tenacity when he plays, and that affects his teammates.

His equalizer, after he missed an earlier opportunity, gave United a chance to win the game, but they failed to capitalize and ended up having to rely on the goalkeeper. David de Gea to earn points with an amazing savings to decline Miguel Almiron in overtime.

“Our biggest problem was the mistakes we made,” says Rangnick. “Even when we scored the equalizer, we still didn’t really control the game and make the right decisions.

“In three days we have the next game [against Burnley]. We can do better but we have to. We shouldn’t make excuses – we need to be better and more physically fit. “

United probably did enough to secure a draw against Newcastle, but if Rangnick cannot inspire a sublime performance, they will struggle to win anything against better Premier League sides. .

Rangnick needs to make sure his backline defends properly and somehow finds a way to make his midfielders look as if they can control the game and dictate the tempo of the game. Fred and McTominay simply weren’t good enough, and it didn’t help that anyone at United pretended otherwise.

The manager also has to figure out why Rashford’s development has stalled for 18 months now and why Jadon Sancho was unable to repeat his Bundesliga form in Borussia Dortmund with United in the Premier League.

Rangnick is no fool, so he will know that jobs like the one at Manchester United won’t become available when things are going well. But he has a great reputation and United need him to live up to that by revitalizing underperforming players and finding replacements for those who have not.

However, the honeymoon period is definitely over. United have been failing for almost nine years now and the problems are deepening.

https://www.espn.com/soccer/english-premier-league/story/4557214/ralf-rangnicks-manchester-united-honeymoon-is-overas-struggles-at-newcastle-proved Ralf Rangnick’s honeymoon at Manchester United is over, as struggles at Newcastle have proven

John Verrall

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