Man United handed defensive boost/Rangnick sends warning to players


Man United handed defensive boost as Ralf Rangnick sends warning to players before Aston VillaMan United handed defensive boost as Ralf Rangnick sends warning to players before Aston Villa

 

The latest press conference held by Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick has given rise to a whole host of noteworthy takeaways.

Unrest in the camp

The week, to date, has of course proven something of a tumultuous one on the red half of Manchester.

This comes amid a fresh backlash, owing to an alarming defeat in the club’s most recent Premier League outing.

After welcoming Bruno Lage’s Wolves to Old Trafford for a crucial matchup in the club’s pursuit of a top-4 berth, United were ultimately, and altogether deservedly, put to the sword by a solitary goal to nil.

Man United handed defensive boost as Ralf Rangnick sends warning to players before Aston VillaMan United handed defensive boost as Ralf Rangnick sends warning to players before Aston Villa

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – JANUARY 03: Joao Moutinho of Wolverhampton Wanderers celebrates with teammates Ruben Neves, Daniel Podence and Fabio Silva after scoring their side’s first goal during the Premier League match between Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Trafford on January 03, 2022 in Manchester, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

And the fallout from the defeat has since been as ruthless as it has swift.

Amid mounting concerns over Ralf Rangnick’s ability to turn things around at the Theatre of Dreams, reports have spread like wildfire in the media that a whole rake of players have set their sights on January exits, having become disillusioned with the situation at the club.

‘It’s obvious’

In turn, speaking in a press conference ahead of his side welcoming Aston Villa to Old Trafford for an FA Cup 3rd-round showdown this coming Monday, it came as little surprise when the latest instillation on the Red Devils bench was drawn on the unrest in his playing squad.

And Rangnick was not shy in addressing the situation, admitting that several fringe members of his ranks are indeed ‘unhappy’:

‘We have a big squad. If you have that many players and only 10 outfield players can play, and three being substitutes, then you have quite a number of players who don’t play or are not even in the squad. Those players are unhappy about the situation. It’s obvious. It’s clear.’

‘We also have players with contracts expiring in the summer and maybe also one or two who want to leave even though they are under contract.’

From here, though, the German tactician was quick to demand that his players deal with any frustration ‘in a professional way’, or risk being addressed ‘directly’:

‘It’s about the players dealing with that situation in a professional way. As far as I can tell so far the players have been doing that. If I realise this is not the case, I will address the players directly.’

On a more positive note, Rangnick also went on to confirm a timely boost in his defensive ranks ahead of next week’s cup action.

Victor Lindelof, forced to sit out United’s meeting with Wolves owing to a positive test for Covid-19, is now ‘back in training’, ahead of a likely return against Villa.

Captain Harry Maguire, however, remains on the treatment table:

 

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Manchester City 21 40 53
2 Chelsea FC 21 29 43
3 Liverpool FC 20 34 42
4 Arsenal FC 20 8 35
5 West Ham United 20 10 34
6 Tottenham Hotspur 18 3 33
7 Manchester United 19 3 31
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 19 0 28
9 Brighton & Hove Albion 19 0 27
10 Leicester City 18 -2 25
11 Crystal Palace 20 -1 23
12 Brentford FC 19 -3 23
13 Aston Villa 19 -5 22
14 Southampton FC 19 -9 21
15 Everton FC 18 -9 19
16 Leeds United 19 -16 19
17 Watford FC 18 -14 13
18 Burnley FC 17 -11 11
19 Newcastle United 19 -23 11
20 Norwich City 19 -34 10
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 16
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 10
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City 9
Dennis, Emmanuel Watford FC 8
Antonio, Michail West Ham United 8
Ronaldo, Cristiano Manchester United 8
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur 8
Smith-Rowe, Emile Arsenal FC 8
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 8
Raphinha Leeds United 8
Mount, Mason Chelsea FC 7
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City 7
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion 7
Silva, Bernardo Manchester City 7
Mahrez, Riyad Manchester City 6
Saka, Bukayo Arsenal FC 6
Gallagher, Conor Crystal Palace 6
Jorginho Chelsea FC 6
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United 6
Cornet, Maxwel Burnley FC 6



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