Robson: What Rangnick's got right so far
Bryan Robson has praised the “good early signs” shown by Manchester United under Ralf Rangnick in the German’s first month at the club.
The Reds remain unbeaten since Rangnick took over as interim manager at the start of December, kicking things off with a 1-0 home win against Crystal Palace.
It’s been a tumultuous time, even if things started smoothly with wins against Palace and Norwich and a youthful home draw against BSC Young Boys. First, a redone UEFA Champions League draw – first came out PSG and then Atletico Madrid – and then two postponed matches against Brentford and Brighton.
Carrington was closed for some days, but United returned to action after Boxing Day with a 1-1 draw in Newcastle.
Robson emphasised the improved defence as the key to Rangnick’s start, even if there’s clearly a lot more work to still be done.
“The early signs have been good,” Robbo said, speaking in-depth in our beloved matchday programme, United Review.
“In the opening months of the season, we maybe got in between whether we’d counterattack or press, and that’s when we started conceding far too many goals.
“I thought Michael Carrick did a terrific job as caretaker over three big games because he and the players were right under pressure, but they secured Champions League qualification and took four points from Chelsea and Arsenal – really tough games considering the situation we were in – and those were terrific results.
“Since then, the early results under Ralf have been good, without giving goals away. David De Gea has played a big part in that and confidence should be back on the up among the defence and the team as a whole now. We’ve built a good run and what we have to do now is add to it.”
That being said, the performance at Newcastle was below-par, by Rangnick’s standards, as the German admitted. The closure of Carrington and postponed games will have clearly had some effect.
“It can’t be a pleasant experience to go through,” Robson commented.
“Staying in your own little bubble, being professional and sensible, it has to be done but it impacts on your family life as well. All the players and staff can do is get on with it the best they can, keep others safe and entertain people on a football pitch when they get the chance.”
United play our final game of 2021 against Burnley at Old Trafford on Thursday evening. Read more of Bryan’s insight in the matchday programme, United Review, available to purchase online here, or outside the ground on matchday.