Ralf Rangnick has told Manchester United fans what they’ve always wanted to hear – Steven Railston

Manchester United are set to match their longest run without silverware in 40 years this season.

That confirms the club’s continuous decline towards dark depths. This season was supposed to be the campaign that it all changed. It was supposed to be the season of success. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was relieved of his duties in November instead and United are meandering again. The club is wrestling with its identity as it hopelessly drifts towards yet another year without silverware.

United were knocked out of the Carabao Cup earlier in the season, challenging for the Premier League title was clearly not possible as the months progressed, so success in the FA Cup or the Champions League were the only two remaining avenues for silverware.

The latter seems nothing more than an unreachable dream – that’s indicative of the regression over the last decade – and that’s why United crashing out of the FA Cup last week hurt so much. There was still hope with United in the FA Cup this season, but that sense of confusing optimism that every supporter possesses relinquished its power as Anthony Elanga’s penalty went over the bar.

The 70,000 supporters inside Old Trafford that night left the turnstiles knowing that it was set to be another season without silverware. While they already knew that it was inevitable, the truth had now been confirmed. It was difficult to confront.

United could obviously still win the Champions League this term but it would take something of a footballing miracle on current performances. Those that enjoyed Sir Alex Ferguson’s reign are now watching a club that is almost unrecognizable.

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Ralf Rangnick’s interim appointment promised to inject some familiarity back into the club. While that sounds paradoxical considering Rangnick is a complete outsider to United, the German’s arrival had the potential to be utterly transformative. He it had the potential to eventually bring back silverware, which United had grown so familiar with until the recent years of famine.

Rangnick was never going to deliver that during his interim tenure, however, the two years he will spend in a consultancy role upstairs could make him the most important appointment at the club for some time. Rangnick needs to be trusted. United need to give him a large degree of control. His track record of him proves he’s the man that United have needed to take them into the modern game.

United have nothing to lose. They’re set to match their longest run without silverware for 40 years and radical change is required to break from the mediocrity that has become rooted in the club’s veins. The United DNA has to be rethought. It needs to evolve.

Rangnick is aware of that. In his press conference ahead of United’s match against Burnley on Tuesday, he opened up on the need for change: “If Manchester United has not won a title in the last 10 years there must be some good reasons for that,” he said.

“Right now we are fourth in the league and everybody on the inside of the club including myself would be happy if we finish fourth at the end of the season.” It was exactly what United fans wanted to hear. They are tired of excuses. They want solutions.

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There is no doubt that Rangnick has the nous to address the ‘good reasons’ why United have failed to win the Premier League title since 2013, but will United’s hierarchy place their unwavering trust in the coach to attempt to transform the club?

They simply need to and it’s an opportunity they can’t squander. While the profits have remained steady across the last decade, performances on the pitch have done anything but. United’s approach isn’t working and an outsider can change that.

United need fresh ideas and they need a new transfer policy, otherwise they will continue to meander in the Premier League.

It could be argued that whatever Rangnick ‘achieves’ this season is just a bonus.

It’s actually all about what he can achieve upstairs, as that’s where the club needs direction most.


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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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