Ralf Rangnick critics are missing the point in Manchester United debate

Ralf Rangnick critics are missing the point in Manchester United debate

The bell tolls once more and the increasingly weary eulogies are written again. Manchester United’s procession has been going on for a near-decade yet nothing seems to change.

At this stage, the sombre mourning of the club is getting a bit ridiculous. Every pundit for every televised match, other than the understandably delighted Micah Richards, is there to give a soundbite ‘take’ on their former club’s downfall.

Every game requires a post-mortem. Every elimination an inquiry. Every bad result has to come with a deep philosophical exploration into what it truly means to be United. It’s this over-bloated sense of self-importance, sprinkled with absolutely nonsense terms like ‘ United DNA’ that has helped lead to United’s staggering decline; an innate feeling that United are somehow more special than any other club and are thus above the plights that affect them all.

United are not special. They have a special history and have done special things but as an entity, they don’t have any divine protection from stupid decisions. And for the last nine years, stupid decisions after stupid decisions have got them to this point.

This fine-toothed examination almost always centres on the players and the man who is hired to manage them, but they are not the ones to blame. United’s owners have spent enough on their squad to insulate them from ever suffering the full wrath of their mismanagement, but they will never reach their previous glories while poor decisions continue to be made by those who hold the true power at the club.

United crashed out of the Champions League to Atletico Madrid on Tuesday in the most predictable way possible: losing 1-0 and getting frustrated when Atletico began pulling out every trick in the book to grind out the win. Atleti themselves may not be having the best season domestically, but they are the reigning Spanish champions and are seasoned in European knockout stages. Their win was no great surprise, especially as United were fortunate to even be there in the first place.

Yet, after the game, another deep dive into the soul of the club was held in the BT Sport studio and this time Paul Scholes decided to take aim at Ralf Rangnick — an interim manager who was brought in to try and steady the ship until the end of the season.

Yet, after the game, another deep dive into the soul of the club was held in the BT Sport studio and this time Paul Scholes decided to take aim at Ralf Rangnick — an interim manager who was brought in to try and steady the ship until the end of the season.

Not sacking Ole Gunnar Solskjaer much earlier was stupid. Hiring him on a permanent basis in the first place was stupid. Not getting Mauricio Pochettino, Thomas Tuchel or Antonio Conte — when they were available at various stages — was stupid.

But those decisions weren’t made by Rangnick and he isn’t to blame the current state of the club. He has come in halfway through a campaign that had already been written off by those in charge and tried to make the best of it.

The German has given structure, too. Scholes may not like it but Rangnick has come in and settled on a formation and a way of playing. But whether it be repeated defensive insecurities, the dreadful form of most United attackers, a fragile mentality or the fact several players are already eyeing the exit door, it isn’t working.

The simplest solution is often correct. There has been one constant during United’s years of decline.

That’s the Glazer family’s ownership and Ed Woodward’s stewardship, which has just come to an end. The blame for every poor decision that has led United to this point lies solely with them. No one else.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button
AllEscort