Football – What’s wrong with Manchester United?

After returning to the Premier League podium for two seasons in a row (2019/20 and 20/21) under Ole Gunnar Solskjær, Manchester United have undergone changes that have upset the balance of Red Devils. Result of the races: the club has been in distress for a year, and things do not seem to be going better when we see the scenario of their first 2 matches (2 defeats including a 4-0, last night). So what’s wrong with Man United?

1 – The arrival of Cristiano Ronaldo

Cristiano Ronaldo is a special player. His arrival in a club can not be insignificant, it upsets a team balance at all levels: on the ground or outside.

The one she has certainly impacted the most is Bruno Fernandes. The Portuguese midfielder, who had been exceptional since his arrival in January 2020, has lost some of his magic since the arrival of the national star. He lost his clairvoyance, his spontaneity, his impact in the game… And he also lost a little in statistics (and perhaps in confidence): the one who was the anchor of his team, and who was taking all the set pieces before the arrival of CR7 had to change his habits to make room for him.

Ronaldo loves balls and goals cannot be scored by any player other than him. And this lost balance, both in the game, but also statistically, is obvious. During the 20/21 season, the Top 3 scorers had 28 goals (Fernandes), then 21 (Rashford) and 17 (Cavani). And under Ronaldo (20/21), the Top 3 scored 24 (Ronaldo), 10 (Fernandes) and 6 (Greenwood). The other attacking players did not become bad overnight (like Sancho who was brilliant in Dortmund), but here they can’t do it!

Already at the time of Juventus, Gianluigi Buffon confessed that the Portuguese had was certainly a brake on the collective balance : “ I worked with Ronaldo for 2 years and we worked well. But I think that with him, Juventus lost that DNA of being a team »

So individually, Ronaldo is still very efficient, it is undeniable, but is he not the savior of a situation of which he himself is the problem?

2 – Captain Maguire

It is often said in football that a team resembles its captain. This is the case with Manchester United. Harry Maguire has worn the armband for far too long.

Arriving as the most expensive defender in history (€90m), ahead of the great Virgil van Dijk, the Englishman never assumed this status. Multiplying errors, Maguire has become a symbol of feverishness. A captain must, on the contrary, be the one who wears his clothes and on whom his teammates can rely… He is not supposed to be the one who is going to put their heads under water. He must not be the first on the ejection seat. Because his place in the 11 can be strongly questioned.

The revival of Manchester United should go through a player who embodies this club (like De Gea or a player trained at the club like McTominay or Rashford). Because « DNA red devils has left this team, and former legends like Rio Ferdinand can’t stand seeing their favorite club being trodden on week after week.

To get out of this negative spiral, change is needed: change the framework, change mentalities… And change Maguire!

3 – The Ralf Rangnick mistake

Instead of putting in place a coach for the future (for after Solskjær), Manchester went for an interim to finish the season. However, almost 6 months of competition is clearly not nothing… And with such a long time span, the new coach could have detected the problems and solved them the following summer, with real preparation during the summer and a transfer window in his image.

But Manchester had in mind to offer the services of Erik ten Hag, who was still at Ajax and who could not leave his team during the season to join England. For the time being, this choice is not paying off, since the Dutchman lost his first 2 official matches (in a shameful way) against opponents supposed to be less strong (1-2 defeat against Brighton and 4-0 against in Brentford).

In any case, even if the English leaders had intended to extend Rangnick at the end of his 6-month contract, the catastrophic results of the German coach (and his 37% victory) would have dissuaded them from doing so. These 6 months spent under his leadership made the Mancunians lose a lot of confidence and fueled the « crisis » of the red devils… A crisis from which the club has not yet managed to emerge.

Manchester United has a problem with its coaches: the club has had 8 since the summer of 2013 and the departure of legend Sir Alex Ferguson, who remained on the bench for almost 27 years. red devils. If ten Hag don’t want there to be one 9e soon, he will have to quickly find solutions.

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