It’s like watching paint dry. While Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United were routinely susceptible to criticism – at least they weren’t boring. The cold, hard facts are that since Ralf Rangnick has entered the fray, one of the most entertaining – rightly or wrongly – sides in all of Europe have become dull and starved of all personality.
This is a team that features some of the best-attacking talent in world football including a five-time Ballon d’Or winner, a £72million winger, a 24-year-old 46-gap England international and one of the most decorated strikers still active within the current game.
Yet seemingly, none of them know how to play with each other – despite working under a manager renowned for his tactical innovation, man management and for revolutionising the press.
Since Rangnick replaced caretaker boss Michael Carrick, nine of United’s 12 games has featured no more than two goals.
That wouldn’t be a problem if United were persistently churning out narrow victories but having won just four of those games there are questions that need to be answered.
The Norwegian had to go after being hammered 4-1 by relegation-fighting Watford – it was a performance and result that meant there was no way back.
But the change in the dugout was supposed to mark a line in the sand – a turning point in United’s season.
However, when you compare the two eras, United’s swashbuckling attacking football under Solskjaer was by far the better product than what’s currently on show under Rangnick.
He was supposed to be a charismatic, inspiring, demanding figure who would get the best from each individual – yet in fact, United appear to have regressed in other departments.
At least Solskjaer’s team had an identity, a ruthless counter-attacking side that play with speed down the flanks and precision through the middle.
Yes, that was not always the case – certainly towards the end of his tenure – but over the course of three years, you knew what you would get from Solskjaer’s side.
When a team isn’t consistently delivering results, they should at least provide value for money and entertainment for the fans.
Rangnick’s United team do not really qualify for either…
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