Ralf Rangnick explains why Manchester United skipper Harry Maguire was dropped against Watford
Speaking ahead of his side’s 0-0 draw against Watford (h/t Daily Mail), Manchester United interim boss Ralf Rangnick explained why he decided to drop club captain Harry Maguire, saying that it was down to fatigue and tactical reasons.
The Red Devils dropped two points at home in yet another frustrating draw in the Premier League, as the players failed to put away multiple chances in the game. Man United were dominant from the start but just could not find the back of the net.
Their defence was never tested by the Hornets, and Rangnick may have been confident of this happening as he decided to give Maguire a rest for the game, saying that the Englishman needed fresh legs and energy for the home fixture last night.
“It is about fresh legs, energy and the tactical demands against this Watford team.”
Watford barely threatened Man United’s goal and were probably as wasteful as we were when it came to putting away their chances. David de Gea could very easily have sat in the stands in the first half as Roy Hodgson’s men sat back and repelled wave after wave of our attacks.
Much needed rest after UCL
Man United were away in Madrid during midweek as they went up against Atletico Madrid in the first leg of the Round of 16 of the Champions League, managing to come away with a 1-1 draw. This sets the second leg tie up perfectly, as we take them on at home next in under 3 weeks.
Rangnick hinted that this away trip will have led to some fatigue amongst the players, including Maguire, as he said that the team returned from Madrid quite late in the night as his players could not get enough time to recover from their previous game.
“We came back in the middle of the night after the Champions League game.”
Luckily for Rangnick, his decision to drop Maguire did not backfire as the Red Devils kept a rare clean sheet in the Premier League at home. It was at the other end of the pitch where the German had problems with, as his side’s world-class forwards could not score a single goal against relegation-threatened Watford.
The result will hamper United’s chase for a top-four spot, as the club once again dropped points at home despite a fairly easy opposition to beat in front of them. Old Trafford witnessed another tie earlier this month against Southampton, but the side had at least scored a goal then, in a 1-1 draw.
United are still in fourth place after the result but sit only two points ahead of Arsenal in the fifth spot, who have 3 games in hand and can easily overtake the Red Devils if they win their remaining games. Rangnick will have to find solutions for his goalscoring problems quickly if they are to ensure Champions League football next season.
Maguire meanwhile, will hope to return for our next game and lead the side out again against Manchester City next weekend, in a derby which could decide the fate of our UCL hopes at the end of the season. The Englishman will need to be at his best if United are to avoid defeat against the defending champions.