Manchester United suffered a 1-0 loss to Wolves on Monday night. Ralf Rangnick, despite only having been at the club for a few weeks, is already feeling the pressure.
Ralf Rangnick is Manchester United’s interim manager after a 1-0 loss at the hands Wolves on Monday.
The Red Devils appeared weak defensively and ineffective in attack, unable to handle the 3-4-3 system Bruno Lage’s team uses.
Phil Jones, returning to the Red Devils after 707 days on the sideline, was United’s star performer on the night, with those in the forward areas underperforming significantly.
Rangnick was recognized for the way he had previously trained his teams and used that knowledge to press the ball effectively to retrieve it deep into the opposition’s side.
This was however far from reality earlier this week, as United appeared lackluster when pushing up and forwards Cristiano Rojo and Edinson Cavani struggled with linking up when in possession.
Martin Keown, Arsenal legend believes Rangnick must learn from his predecessor Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s mistakes and stop playing both strikers together.
Writing for the Daily Mail, Keown said: ”Rangnick will be wondering if it is feasible to continue using Cristiano Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani as twin strikers.
“It feels as if he has been trying to accommodate both, but there aren’t many coaches who play with two upfront now. That’s a rarity in the modern game and this pair have a combined age of 70.
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“On either side of Ronaldo and Cavani, Rangnick has been using two young and exciting withdrawn wingers but they haven’t been effective enough with or without the ball. Sancho needs to be more direct, and so does Mason Greenwood.”
United have been playing a 4-2-2-2 of late, with Sancho and Greenwood playing as wide no.10’s rather than wingers, and Keown believes that Rangnick needs to drop the system and the partnership of Cavani and Ronaldo, which was heavily scrutinised and criticised during Solskjaer’s tenure in the Old Trafford dugout.
He continued: “I prefer a front three. Ronaldo could act as the single striker for United — he made good runs against Wolves but was ignored by a midfield who rarely looked for the guy who has scored more than 800 goals in his career.
“Regardless of the formation, the players’ decision-making needs to improve, and so must Rangnick’s if United are to grab a Champions League spot.”
However, the decision could be taken out of Rangnick’s hands as Cavani has been heavily linked with a move to Barcelona.
The Catalan giants noted that Ronaldo, the Uruguayan, has been playing second fiddle ever since he arrived in Italy from Juventus. They now believe that he might be the man to take their place in the short-term.
It is no secret that Xavi is keen to bolster his options in the final third, acquiring the services of Ferran Torres from Manchester City in late December in a move worth £55m.
Cavani would have to leave the club. MarcaRangnick already has options for forward movement in his ranks, despite United’s opposition to the move.
Marcus Rashford (Greenwood) and Greenwood both previously played as no.9s, while Sancho was deployed on occasion as a striker during his time at Borussia Dortmund in Germany’s Bundesliga.
It is yet to be seen if Rangnick follows the advice of Keown, or if he sticks to his guns. He continues to hope that Cavani can outperform Ronaldo as a pairing.