Decoding Ralf Rangnick's Manchester United

MUSC Red Devils NCR
Aston Villa v Manchester United - Premier League
Aston Villa v Manchester United - Premier League / Marc Atkins/GettyImages

Manchester United came up with a positive second half performance leading to their 1-3 away win at Brentford in the Premier League.

It shed some positive light on what their coach Ralf Rangnick intends to do with the approach of his team's gamestyle.

Now, let's take a step back.

After Manchester United drew against Aston Villa at Villa Park, Rangnick addressed the media where his initial words were: "…. this draw feels like a defeat, to be honest."

In just the game before Villa, the German suffered his first loss as United’s interim manager to Wolves, yet it was a loss that didn't surprise fans by any stretch of the imagination.

Since Rangnick has come along, United have gone through with scarcely motivating performances against Wolves, Norwich, Newcastle, and Burnley, and all of these games showcased many hardships present in the Red Devils' setup.

They did manage to get a convincing win against Brentford, but some questions still remain unanswered.

What are these hardships under Ralf?

Of late, there have been multiple rumours concerning a few big names at Old Trafford being unhappy at the club. This is possibly viewed as one of the main reasons why Rangnick's side isn't showing what was generally anticipated of them after the German tactician took over the job.

For somebody who has been nicknamed the 'Godfather of Gegenpressing', except Rangnick's first game in control against Burnley, Manchester United hasn't pressed opponents enough at all.

Analysts and fans have noticed that this Manchester United side fails to keep possession of the ball for a longer period because of unwillingness, stray passes and press traps. These are all player mistakes, rather than coaching mistakes or an instance of oppressive training.

Rangnick has coaches that he trusts, with Chris Armas, Sacha Lense and Ewan Sharp having joined the German manager in various United backroom roles since his appointment.

Rangnick is also highly regarded among other famous German managers, with Jurgen Klopp, Thomas Tuchel and Julian Nagelsmann all-praising Rangnick with excitement in the past.

Now, it appears as if Rangnick’s philosophy of playing an appealing style of football that he wants from the squad is out of his hands. The philosophy is down to players to adapt to and display, but it seems the squad lacks willingness and required quality.

Marcus Rashford, Harry Maguire, Scott McTominay, and Aaron Wan-Bissaka are a few players encountering one of the two issues, if not both.

Presently, the 20-times Premier League champs sit in the seventh spot and are preparing for a top-4 battle that could down right to the wire.

The last cup hopes this season for the club is the UEFA Champions League and the FA Cup, with the last silverware at the club coming in May 2017 in the form of the Europea League.

By the time season ends, Manchester United will hope to have their hands on at least one trophy, in a period where Ralf Rangnick and others at Old Trafford will get ready for the German's replacement.

To sum it up, it isn't Rangnick who has anything to lose here, but it’s the players who had thrown their previous manager under the bus and some of them are again visibly walking similar trenches in hopes of doing the same to the new interim manager.

Written by Kartikeya Sengar for the MUSC Red Devils NCR

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