There are clear warning signs for Ralf Rangnick ahead of the contest against Aston Villa in the league. Villa could count themselves unlucky as Manchester United knocked them out the FA Cup, albeit in an unconvincing manner.
Clear Warning Signs For Ralf Rangnick ahead Of Villa Contest
Stick To 4-2-3-1
After a few games it became obvious that the 4-2-2-2- formation would not work for Rangnick with this set of players. The team was playing far too narrow, and the fullbacks were given the responsibility of providing width. When coming up against sides with wingbacks, this becomes difficult. We saw this issue multiple times against Wolves. Also, when it comes to attacking players, United possess players who enjoy width and space. This is what makes them such a dangerous side on the break. The 4-2-3-1 also brings the best out of Bruno Fernandes as this is his preferred position. It allows him to join the forward line, almost playing as a second striker at times and it provides him the freedom of dropping deep and playing long balls in behind to forwards like Marcus Rashford and Mason Greenwood. Although Rashford was poor and Greenwood did not pull up any trees, they both looked more comfortable in this set-up.
Holes In The Midfield
Under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, the downfall with this formation was that United were not defensively solid. They would concede many chances and if the opposition took half their chances, they would leave with three points. This was highlighted by Rangnick in his first press conference hence his introduction of the 4-2-2-2. However one of the positives of the formation is that United have the quality to create chances and this system allows them to do this with the wide players. The double pivot in the midfield of Mctominay and Fred were getting outrun by the opposition towards the end of Solskjaer’s reign. This is something Rangnick must fix. With Mctominay unavailable through suspension for the game at Villa Park on Saturday, one would expect Nemanja Matic will come into the side. The wide players must perform better and be smarter with their decision making. At times, they were dropping in so deep there was not option for the defence and midfield to release the pressure Villa were exerting onto them. Jadon Sancho should come back into the side and he can find success on the flank as he is a creative player, as opposed to Rashford and Greenwood who see themselves as goal-scorers. Sancho can link up with players in the midfield and full-backs to create chances for the likes of a Ronaldo. Villa will have ideas of their own and United need to put on a much improved display in comparison if they have hopes of picking up three points.
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