Ralf Rangnick must return to simple Manchester United tactic to solve major defensive problem – Omar Garrick


Although Manchester United look more defensively sound under Ralf Rangnick there’s still a long way to go for them to be considered a stable unit.

To be honest, anything would’ve been an improvement on the defensive displays we were forced to witness during Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s last few weeks at the helm. In the former United boss’ final six games in charge, United conceded a whopping 15 goals.

Since Rangnick has come in there has been an improvement, albeit a small one. In 13 matches his team has conceded 10 goals. Not title-challenging form but far better than what was in danger of becoming the norm prior to his appointment of him.

Steady progress is better than no progress at all but United need to be better if they’re to make it into the top four.

United fans have been desperately searching for a scapegoat following a run of three games without a win in all competitions and captain Harry Maguire has been the man pinpointed by most.

The 28-year-old hasn’t been good enough in recent weeks and he’s continued to make individual errors that have cost his team points.

He was at fault for Jay Rodriguez’s goal at Burnley and almost played a part in Southampton taking a 2-1 lead on Saturday after Armando Broja made light work of brushing him off before fluffing his big opportunity.

Maguire is definitely being scrutinized more than most due to the fact he’s the captain of the team, but his partnership with Raphael Varane is also a cause for concern.

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In the nine matches that Maguire and Varane have played together in a back four, United have been victorious on just four occasions. That means they’ve won just 44% of games together and have failed to win in five of their last six games as a pair. That isn’t good enough for a partnership that cost £120m.

While Maguire has a lot of good attributes, his recent displays have been hampering the rest of the team. Luke Shaw has been getting unnecessary criticism having played a part in the goals conceded against Burnley and Southampton by not pushing out, but his lack of confidence in Maguire could be the reason he’s sitting so deep.

Switching your centre-back pairing midway through a season may not seem the best course of action, but Rangnick already has a great alternative pairing in Varane and Victor Lindelof.

Just like you, we can’t get enough of Manchester United! That’s why we’ve decided to supplement our expansive United coverage on the Manchester Evening News with a more fan-oriented platform catered specifically to United fans – United On My Mind.

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Varane and Lindelof have played alongside each other in a back four on five occasions and have won three of those outings, meaning their 60% win percentage is already better than Maguire’s and Varane’s, while they’re also unbeaten as a pair, unlike Maguire and Varane.

A lot of United fans believe Maguire should be dropped but are worried about who would replace him. Lindelof should be the answer.

Should Varane and Lindelof be starting for United? Follow our United On My Mind writer omar garrick on Twitter to get involved in the discussion and give us your thoughts on the matter in the comments section below.




www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk

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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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