United reconstruction job is no surprise to Ralf
Ralf Rangnick has admitted he never expected that finding the answers to the Manchester United rebuild job he took on would be easy and there is no quick fix.
Our interim boss was appointed at the end of November and took charge of his first game against Crystal Palace at the beginning of December.
The German started off with a 1-0 Old Trafford win in the Premier League and a home Champions League 1-1 group draw with Young Boys.
A first away success at Norwich City's Carrow Road with a 1-0 victory has been followed by a mixed festive season.
The Reds disappointed in a 1-1 draw in the north east against Newcastle United but hit back with a 3-1 home win against Burnley to end 2021 in winning fashion.
However, the new year Bank Holiday home game against Wolves proved to be a setback to kick off 2022 as the Reds were beaten 1-0 by Bruno Lage’s Midlanders.
Rangnick is in no doubt as to the reconstruction work needed to be carried out to get United back on track.
“I knew it would be a difficult job, it was the reason why they contacted me and signed me,” he told a press conference after the Wolves defeat.
“So I knew, from the start, it wouldn’t be an easy job to find the best possible talents with regards to the players we have offensively and defensively.”
As he worked on his rebuild, Rangnick sought to make United meaner at the back to provide a solid base to work from.
However, Joao Moutinho’s strike was the third goal United conceded over Christmas and new year and meant a return of four points from a possible nine.
“It was important for me that we don’t concede that many goals. But again [against Wolves] we showed against a good team, they are one of the better teams in possession of the ball and, at the other end, not so easy to create chances ourselves, it still shows that we are struggling and we have quite a few steps to take.
United now have until next Monday night against Aston Villa in the Emirates FA Cup third round tie at Old Trafford to work on improvement on the training ground.
Rangnick plans to use the time to come up with a solution to the Reds' jigsaw and where all the pieces fit into place.
“It is always a question of balance. How much do you need to create chances offensively and how compact do you need to be to protect your own goal,” he said.
“This is what it is all about and finding the best players for the formation and, hopefully, then every player plays in his best possible position.”