4 Points out of a possible 21.
Embarrassed at Old Trafford by rivals Liverpool and Manchester United.
Smashed by relegation battling Watford.
Manager Ole Gunnar Solksjaer Sacked.
What Has Gone Wrong At Manchester United?
After a promising summer signing world-class players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Raphael Varane, and Jadon Sancho. Manchester United is 8th in the Premier League. Twelve points behind league leaders Chelsea, and six points behind a Champions League place.
Before the season Manchester United was considered title contenders, but right now they are a long way off those claims. So what is the reason this team hasn’t been able to reach those expectations so far? Is it because of coaching or is the blame on the players?
Watching Manchester United this season has been a difficult task. It seems at times that it is the first time all eleven of the players have played together. There is no chemistry, style of play, or any type of identity. It makes you wonder what is being worked on day-to-day in training. That is 100% a reflection on coaching.
If you watch any other Premier League team you can see a clear identity. Manchester City presses very high up the pitch to try to win the ball, and when they have the ball they use a high possession style of play to dominate the game. In doing this they create a lot of chances with crosses and cutbacks into the box.
Liverpool also presses very high up the pitch as well, but when they receive it they play very fast. Using balls in behind to their skillful wingers Mane, and Mohammad Salah. While also having two fullbacks who are elite crossers which helps them create easy chances.
Manchester United players seem to have no idea what they are doing on and off the ball. This season they have relied on the individual brilliance of Bruno Fernandes, Marcus Rashford, and Cristiano Ronaldo. Relying on moments in every game won’t lead to success. To compete with the likes of Chelsea, Manchester City, and Liverpool to win trophies there needs to be an identity and consistent style of play.
Manchester United currently has no identity and this is why it has been a struggle to score and keep clean sheets pretty much every game for this team. This had led to manager Ole Gunnar Solksjaer being sacked.
Some fans have been crying out for this for a while. Many fans didn’t think he was a good manager good enough to take Manchester United back to the top, but he deserves respect from Manchester United supporters as he leaves his post. When he took over when Jose Mourinho was sacked the club was in a crisis. Players were unhappy, and this club was nowhere near finishing in Champions League places. He came in and steadied the ship.
First, he brought the belief back by sparking an unbelievable comeback at the Parc De Prince knocking PSG out of the Champions League. He also finished 3rd and 2nd in two seasons. Lastly, he majorly improved the squad to where it is now. Adding players like Aaron Wan-Bissaka, improving Luke Shaw, and promoting Mason Greenwood from the youth academy.
The Manchester United squad hasn’t been this talented since Sir Alex Ferguson retired, and it is going through a period that will be critical in determining what the next few years hold for the club.
So What Is Next For Manchester United?
The team has all the talent to compete, but one of the biggest missing ingredients for their success is a manager with more experience. They are calling out for one that can push this team on to achieve great things.
It's understood that the Manchester United board has realized that. They have gone and hired Ralf Rangnick who is well respected in the football/soccer community. He has been hired on an interim basis until the end season, and then after that, he will have a "consultant" role. It is believed that he will have a say in the next manager hired and also transfers.
This is exciting for Manchester United because he is a brilliant and highly respected football mind. Rangnick joined RB Salzburg as director of football in 2012, helping oversee their expansion into European football, emphasizing the recruitment of unproven players and developing youth systems. He bought players like Upamecano, Timo Werner, and Joshua Kimmich. They are all playing at top clubs now.
He also hired Julian Nagelsman to coach at RB Leipzig so he has a good eye for up-and-coming managers. It is being reported that the three managers being considered for the full-time manager job at Manchester United are Erik Ten-Hag, Brendan Rodgers, and Mauricio Pochettino.
Ralf Rangnick has a lot of experience managing as well. He coached at Schalke 04, where he won the 2011 DFB-Pokal and reached the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League. He later served as head coach at RB Leipzig across two periods between 2015 and 2019. He is known for serving as a mentor for two of the world's best managers Jurgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel.
It seems that now they have an experienced coach to help improve the team. The platform has to be set for the players to be able to go out and express themselves.
While the majority of the blame has gone on coaching, I also think the players have to do better. Many Manchester United players have been very inconsistent this season. When things get difficult that's when it's time to dig deep and work harder. Practice hard, and play with pride.
The players at Manchester United need to realize they play for one of the most historic clubs ever. Legends have come through and done great things in the past, so the standards and expectations will always be there. It is time for the group to come together and try to salvage the season. Yes, the dream of winning the Premier League this season is probably over. However, if they can get a few good results the season can be turned for the better.
The goal should be doing well in the knockout rounds of the Champions League, finishing top four in the Premier League, and trying to win the FA Cup. These can all be achieved but now it is up to the players and coaches to come together and put their best hand forward.