Real Madrid icon Guti has summed up Manchester United’s woes by branding them the “weakest” Red Devils side he’s ever seen. United were knocked out of the Champions League by Atletico Madrid on Tuesday evening.
United have shelled out mega money to build their current team and would have been hopeful of competing for honours both domestically and in Europe. But the Red Devils have been guilty of profligacy in the transfer market and some of their signings have been huge flops since arriving at Old Trafford.
The 13-time Premier League champions started the season in decent form as they won four of their first five top-flight matches. But the wheels fell off in the autumn as former manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was given his marching orders.
Ralf Rangnick took the helm on an interim basis in November – but the German has overseen an inconsistent run of form from the team. Any league title hopes United chiefs may have had at the start of the campaign quickly evaporated in the final months of last year and they were also knocked out of the Carabao Cup and FA Cup during the early stages of both competitions.
So, at the start of this week, their only hopes of winning silverware this season came in the form of Champions League success. The Red Devils had battled to a 1-1 draw against Atletico in the first leg of their last-16 showdown in Madrid last month and would have been confident of completing the job in front of their own fans.
But Diego Simeone’s side exhibited all their guile at Old Trafford as they frustrated United from start to finish. And Renan Lodi’s first-half header was enough to secure a safe passage to the quarter-finals for the Spanish giants.
If Rangnick can’t secure a top-four Premier League finish for his side, his spell in Manchester will be regarded by many as a huge failure. And Guti, who made 542 appearances for Real over 14 years, was biting in his criticism of the English side.
“I never saw a Man Utd team so weak,” wrote the 45-year-old on Twitter. United have come under fire from all angles following their loss to Atletico. And Rangnick has now suggested he isn’t even confident that his side can finish in the top four.
“We also have to be realistic,” Rangnick admitted. “To achieve that, we have to win six, if not seven, of the games and win away at Arsenal. It’s not an easy thing to achieve, at the end, but we will try hard and our very best to finish fourth at the end of the season.
“My focus is on finishing on the highest possible level with this team and then there is enough time to speak about other things.”
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