Man Utd must stick to Sir Alex Ferguson’s plan as Ralf Rangnick experiment worsens

Rangnick insists Man Utd players are adapting to his methodsx

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Manchester United are set to resume their uninspiring Premier League campaign with a trip to Villa Park on Saturday – just days after they recorded a fortuitous victory over Aston Villa in the FA Cup. Scott McTominay’s early goal was enough for United to sneak into the hate for the next round, although, they were also indebted to David de Gea, who produced another showstopping display after his goal was peppered throughout the match.

United may have won, but in doing so, they produced yet another lacklustre display under interim boss Ralf Rangnick.

And it left United legend Paul Scholes pulling no punches as he hit out at the club’s decision to hand Rangnick the reins on a temporary basis – highlighting his lack of success as a coach.

“We have gone to a man well regarded across Europe especially by managers who speak highly of him like [Jurgen] Klopp and [Thomas] Tuchel. But he’s not had much success as a coach,” Scholes told the Webby and O’Neill YouTube channel.

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“He won promotion in Germany and a bit with Schalke but he has been asked to come and manage the biggest club in the world, it is something I just cannot get my head around.

“They should have the best available out there as their manager and they haven’t got that and I find that astonishing.

“We should have one of the top five managers in the world. Now [Thomas] Tuchel, [Pep] Guardiola and [Jurgen] Klopp are the top three but they are unavailable, there is no chance of getting them.”

Although United’s move for Rangnick was hailed as a coup at the time, the German innovator has hardly set pulses racing at Old Trafford almost two months after his arrival.

He even admitted himself last month that he was disappointed by the lack of progress he’d overseen since taking charge at Old Trafford.

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There have been mitigating factors, such as a COVID outbreak and limited time on the training ground, but the biggest takeaway from his reign so far is that the iconic, bustling gegenpressing style of play that he was expected to bring with him has been non-existent. In fact, rather than injecting some much-needed urgency into United’s languid, uninspiring squad, they actually seem to be pressing less than before.

Whatever way you dress it up, it’s a sorry state of affairs for United under Rangnick right now. But their temporary marriage of misery was unavoidable.

Rangnick, who has only won one major trophy during his lengthy coaching career, may not have the glittering CV that some would have preferred to replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, but a stop-gap appointment was inevitable after the axe fell on Solskjaer so early in the season. United’s hierarchy pretty much had no choice but to install someone on a temporary basis.

But United’s brief, uninspiring stint under Rangnick should also have made it clear to United’s power brokers that they have to prioritise a move for Mauricio Pochettino next summer.

The former Spurs boss has already hinted at being open to taking over at Old Trafford in the past and according to French publication, Le Parisien, Pochettino has been “discreetly” keeping in touch with United as he seeks to “free himself from his contract” at Paris Saint-Germain at the end of the season.

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Given that Pochettino is no stranger to the Premier League and is widely recognised as an elite coach, the Argentine fits the bill to oversee the strenuous rebuilding job that’s required at Old Trafford right now.

Ironically, Pochettino was the primary choice of legendary United chief Sir Alex Ferguson to take charge in the past. So far, that hasn’t materialised; that could, and should, change in the summer.

He seems both the obvious and the outstanding candidate for an appointment that Manchester United, quite simply, cannot afford to get wrong.

There may be similar concerns over Pochettino’s lack of silverware, but Scholes is adamant that the 49-year-old has the credentials necessary to overcome those worries.

“Pochettino is a brilliant manager,” Scholes added.

“I like what he did at Southampton and Tottenham. This season he has to prove he’s an elite manager.

“He still has something to prove for me but is more than capable of doing it.”

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