- Arthiac Team
Rangnick will take charge of Manchester United in their Premier League fixture against Crystal Palace on the 5th of December, 2021 at home.
However, his arrival at Old Trafford has brought along a dark cloud encircling around the use of their talisman, Cristiano Ronaldo. The German manager has his own philosophy of playing the beautiful game where he implements his very own style of play "gegenpressing" against his opponents. At the same time, he is also a tough man to handle within the dressing room as he is strict with his way of getting things done amongst his players. He even has his own "discipline" rule book which was used in RB Leipzig in case players made mistakes.
Well, that is hard to swallow if you are in that Man Utd dressing room as you will have to live up with it as long as the manager is in charge. Reports circling around say that Rangnick is stubborn as well as he doesn't shy away from making big calls during a game.
Speaking about "big calls", Cristiano was left out by Carrick on Sunday night against Chelsea in the Premier League in one of the biggest games of the season for both sides. He was left out on the bench and came on as a sub with 25 odd minutes to spare on the clock. The Portuguese superstar just couldn't do anything while he was on the field as his workload was reduced to him putting in the efforts defensively. We're just not used to seeing that from Ronaldo.
Micheal Carrick deployed a team with basically 9 defenders (including the keeper) with Rashford and Sancho the only two up front who would take on the star-studded Chelsea defence.
At the end of the 90 minutes, we might all say that Manchester United got a point, but to set out and set up a team at Stamford Bridge just to claim a point for a club of that stature is "nowhere acceptable." In reality, the way the game panned out showed that Chelsea could've had more goals and United would be in a much bigger mess heading into the game against Arsenal.
On top of that, Manchester United were gifted the goal by a poor error from Jorginho as Jadon Sancho capitalised on it. Besides that, they had literally "nothing" to show in terms of attacking threat while going in front. They just couldn't keep the ball and they were poor on the night as they banked highly on the staggering form of David de Gea in between the posts.
Bruno Fernandes has been out of sorts lately as he has not been able to produce numbers on a regular basis for the Red Devils. He is far away from his best and he too is struggling for form amongst many in that Man Utd side.
Yet, as always, the attention turns towards the man who grabs all the headlines (for good or bad reasons), "Cristiano Ronaldo." According to many, the veteran forward who is aging like fine wine at the age of 36 may have some issues to contend with under the new interim manager of the club.
Over the years, Ronaldo has changed his game a lot as he began his career on the left side of midfield, gradually moved upward and became a left-wing forward where he scored tons of goals. As he aged, he gradually became a striker and plays a role as an assassin right in front of goal. Even though he has changed his game, the man has not shown any signs of slowing down. He's got tons of goals even as he is playing as a central striker.
However, all that comes at a cost. To be more effective and crucial in the final third, Cristiano Ronaldo is reducing his work load "defensively" as he saves his energy to come alive when it matters the most.
Under Ralf Rangnick, it seems as though, there is no place for a player of that sort to find a place in the starting XI. While the German was the head coach of RB Leipzig, he brought players that were mostly under the age of 23 as they would be in a much better physical state to defend and attack on a regular basis.
After he finally gets his chance to be the manager of a big club (Yeah, you could say that Man Utd are falling apart. Hence, a small club), Rangnick has to accept the fact that he cannot have the same luxury as he did in his previous stints as a manager in other clubs. The stage is different in England. The time that he has is limited and he needs to find a quick solution to get Man Utd back to winning ways. That would mean that he needs to work with the tools he's got at Old Trafford. He could also be assisted to work with added tools when the January transfer window opens up.
Management of Cristiano Ronaldo
Ralf Rangnick will be proud and delighted to be managing one of the best the game has ever produced, but at the end of the day, he has to ensure that he can get the best out of his superstar, Cristiano Ronaldo.
With Ronaldo in the twilight of his career, it is for sure that he will not be putting in the hard yards defensively. He's game and his focus will be on scoring goals that ultimately decide the end result, but former players and experts on the game suggest that it could be a problem for Ronaldo to find a regular spot in the starting XI at Man Utd under the style of play that everybody "expects" Rangnick to implement at Man Utd.
But, can he really keep Cristiano out of his starting side?
Well, let's break it down to four points:
League position - Man Utd currently sit in 10th place in the Premier League table with 18 points on board. Consequently, they have lost 5 out of their last 8 Premier League games, with 1 win and 2 draws. They have fallen like a pack of cards sprayed all over the floor.
With the way the league is panning out right now, it is very competitive. If teams like Watford steal the show against Man Utd and if they can also give Chelsea and Thomas Tuchel a good run for their money, then these results speak volumes of how competitive and difficult the Premier League will be as the season rumbles on.
One man from whom they could benefit from is Cristiano Ronaldo himself to help this side climb up the ladder and claim a Champions League spot just as he did for Juventus last season.
Results - If you leave Cristiano Ronaldo out of the starting XI, (as they did against Chelsea) you can surely expect the team to struggle up front. Man Utd have failed to win a game in both the league games so far in which Cristiano hasn't started the game.
Of course the guy is a superstar (a super human as well on a given day), but after all, he is a human and we can't expect him to deliver every single time if he comes on as a substitute. One guy who could give you results, is Cristiano Ronaldo himself as he has proven it time and time again. In the Champions League, he has literally earned all 10 points for the Red Devils by himself. Facts! (
Team Performances - Even at the fine age of 36, opposition managers will need to deploy two men to keep Cristiano at bay. That could open up spaces for the likes of Rashford, Shaw (Telles), Sancho and Bruno to exploit up front.
If you look at it, the man to score all the goals shouldn't be just Ronaldo. His presence on the field could help the team gel well forward, but that is up to the manager to find a solution with Ronaldo and the others on the field.
Pressure - In case Rangnick decides to keep Ronaldo out of his plans, the "outcome" of his decisions will depend on the results on the field.
It could go both ways. If Man Utd win without Cristiano Ronaldo, it will be termed as a "genius" move from the man who has his own way of playing the game.
If Man Utd struggle for results and if the results end up as draws or losses, then there will be pressure on the manager as usual.
Whether Ralf Rangnick can get Man Utd back to winning ways or not, the Pressure will always be there around the German as he isn't starting one of the world's greatest players to who has played the game. Rangnick is as hard as a nut, but there's always the possibility that he could crack under pressure.
Ralf has not coached a side where the calibre of the players is as high as what he has in the Man Utd dressing room. He will defintely have to humble himself and use his tools in a much more effective and efficient way to get the best out of this talented bunch of players.
It will certainly be interesting to see how Ralf uses Cristiano Ronaldo, but according to us, Ronaldo will adapt well to the German's philosophy of playing the game.
Cristiano Ronaldo is a champion of all sorts, there is no doubt that he will prove his doubters wrong as he has always done because in reality, he is the cavalry that Manchester United bank on!