Wayne Rooney has Ralf Rangnick concern.
Wayne Rooney has aired a major concern with Manchester United’s style of play under interim manager Ralf Rangnick.
Since his arrival at Old Trafford last month, the German coach has implemented a 4-2-2-2 formation, in which two midfielders protect the defence while a pair of “number 10s” operate between the lines in support of two centre-forwards.
Rangnick system yields mixed results.
So far, the system has led to mixed results, with the Red Devils winning three Premier League matches under Rangnick but also drawing with Newcastle United and losing to Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Trafford on Monday evening.
Aside from the results, performances haven’t been easy on the eye and have shown little improvement from the dark final weeks of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s reign.
Former Red Devils forward Rooney, now manager of Derby County, but still a regular visitor to Old Trafford, has been speaking about the start of Rangnick’s time in charge and has been impressed overall.
Wayne Rooney: “Man United could get punished..”
However, he feels that United could come unstuck when they play against superior teams to the ones they have faced under Rangnick.
“I was at his first game against Crystal Palace and I thought they looked very good,” Rooney said in an interview with Alan Shearer published in The Athletic on Tuesday.
“My only concern, with that shape, was that when you come up against better teams — Liverpool, Man City, Arsenal — you could get punished.
“The most important thing is that the players need to buy into it. He needs to get them working as a group rather than as individuals.”
Should Man United be doing better?
It should be stated that Rooney and Shearer spoke ahead of Monday’s loss to 1-0 Wolves, which turned out to be United’s worst showing since Rangnick took over.
Upon his arrival, the fixture list appeared kind to the 63-year-old, with United being able to secure wins against some of the Premier League’s lesser teams in Palace, Norwich City and Burnley.
However, none of those matches saw Rangnick’s side truly impress and a 1-1 Champions League draw with Young Boys wasn’t much better, with the caveat that it featured an experimental starting XI.
Rooney also gave his view on the end of Solskjaer’s reign and described the challenge faced by Rangnick as he looks to leave his mark on one of the most high-profile clubs in world football.
Rooney: “There’s a lot more pressure at Man United.”
“I’ve been to a few games, taken my kids,” Rooney says. “Obviously it’s been difficult for them. I think it had got to the point with Ole where everyone could see it was coming to an end.
“With the new manager now, you don’t know. I’m sure it’s a lot different to anywhere he has managed before. There’s a lot more pressure, managing a lot of high-profile players.”
Rangnick is expected to remain in the Old Trafford dugout for the rest of the season before taking on a consultancy role with the club.
However, if things don’t improve quickly, even a man of his experience is sure to start feeling the pressure.