The most celebrated club in the Premier League’s history, the Manchester United outfit has been finding itself at a crossroads in recent times. Their crashing out of the top four from the Champions League this year was symptomatic of a malady that has weakened the Devils for some time. Whether it’s Jadon Sancho’s signing in 2021 July or Solskjaer’s exit last year nothing has got them the results the high profile wanted badly. Now, they are without a major trophy in their cabinet for four consecutive years since winning the UEFA Europa League in 2017. There are several issues plaguing Ralf Rangnick’s side, hence it won’t be a bad time to reflect on these.
A Lackadaisical Defence
It won’t be erroneous to state that the Devils have conceded two or more goals in most of the outings so far, especially after the team drew with Everton. This has been one of their grey areas and Rangnick’s outfit has been made to pay a hefty price for the same as well. If their press has been weak, then their Talismanic players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Paul Pogba have only been overburdened with humongous expectations. As for Bruno Fernandez, he has only facilitated the entry of opposing team players into the United’s domain. So, the Devils need to plug these gaps as soon as possible.
The Ronaldo Conundrum
In a coup of a sort, the Man United brought in Cristiano Ronaldo last year from Juventus for a hefty sum. Many questioned the signing as they felt the Devils would have done well by investing in some youngsters than a veteran whose playing abilities have waned, to a large extent, with advancing age. However, silencing the critics the Portuguese superstar initially played well and saved some games from slipping out of the hands of United. But, one gets a feeling that Ronaldo, with all the footballing riches at his disposal, is being wasted by the Old Trafford side and this is where Rangnick has to do a lot of thinking. So, currently, there is much ado about the way Ronaldo is being handled.
The Midfield Crisis
Midfield is an area that has been constantly pulling down United for a while. In several games this time around, the team was found short of a defensive midfielder and the problem has only worsened as the season progressed. Their experimentation with Nemanja Matic and Paul Pogba in the midfield also did not fetch favourable outcomes. Despite having robust midfielders like van de Beek, Bruno etc, the lack of depth in the same arena has been United’s undoing. So, Rangnick has another issue up his sleeves, to perk up the struggling midfield.
Inability To Get The Best Out Of Sancho
Just like Ronaldo, United spent a bomb (£75m) to bring Jadon Sancho on board. Sadly, the expensive signing has not translated into anything significant for the Devils. The English player’s sedate start at the club reeks of creativity issues. Sancho has put his best foot so far, but United has not benefited by the same. Hence, Rangnick needs to devise ways to extract the best out of one of the promising young talents in football right now. It is indeed mystifying that despite having some outstanding talents the Red Devils have been unable to tap into them.