Ralf Rangnick criticism misses the point after latest Manchester United humiliation – Richard Fay



It’s almost inevitable these days that after another humiliating defeat, another crisis will emerge at Manchester United. It’s a tedious cycle, and one that has been seen far too often since Sir Alex Ferguson retired back in 2013.

Those supporters who made their way into work on Monday morning with their heads hung in shame, no doubt taunted by rival fans, wouldn’t have to wait long before things got worse either.

If losing to fierce rivals Man City in another glorified training exercise wasn’t bad enough, reports would soon emerge which again highlighted the club’s issues go far beyond what was witnessed on Sunday afternoon.

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To start with, Marcus Rashford is considering his future at the club after he was left out of the starting XI for the defeat to City despite United’s lack of attacking options. It has been an issue bubbling away for a while now, though the timing of it becoming public says a lot about the internal problems behind-the-scenes.

Shortly after, The Manchester Evening News also reported on the resentment which remains rife in the Old Trafford dressing room over the selection strategy that has affected a number of players. A core of fringe players are annoyed that they are continuously overlooked when certain individuals seem assured of their place in the term regardless of form.

This isn’t a new feeling either, and it was also apparent during Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s reign. When United have been winning matches, it hasn’t been so much of an issue, but after their second league defeat under Ralf Rannick it is very much a pressing issue once again.

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A few dressing room figures have also voiced concerns about how United ended up with Rangnick in the first place, with the club turning to a sporting director in the Russian league when they should have had a more thorough back-up plan in place. The German is quite clearly not the long-term solution, but he never claimed to be.

Considering all of the off-field issues at the club, the fact that a whole host of players want to leave, and the mess he inherited, Rangnick is one of the few figures who actually deserves some sympathy amid the current state of affairs.

Questions should also be asked of those who missed the match through injury. Roy Keane was perplexed at why someone as fit as Cristiano Ronaldo missed another match, sparking conspiracy theories on social media. Regardless of the reasoning, it is not a good look for him to be flying back to Portugal rather than staying in Manchester to cheer on his side.

Then there is Edinson Cavani. The Uruguayan has now missed 23 games out of a possible 38 for United this season, an inexcusable return for a player who has long frustrated club coaches with his fitness issues from him.

Ronaldo’s absence was at least on the recommendation of the United medical staff, though it was Cavani who ruled himself out of the derby match. It left the interim manager in an unenviable position because he could pick a player who had registered himself as injured, though you have to question any player who isn’t willing to play through the pain barrier in a match of such magnitude.

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Once again, it comes full circle to the mentality, work ethic, and falling standards of the club. Perhaps it is no surprise when the precedent is set by owners who have as little interest in attending derby matches as their veteran forwards do.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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