Pundit backs Rangnick to transform Man Utd duo with new tactic, but major issue needs fixing first

Date published: Wednesday 1st December 2021 7:08 - Jonny Whitfield

Ralf Rangnick, Man Utd interim manager, September 2018

Incoming Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick must focus on improving the attacking threat from his full-backs, according to one pundit.

Left-back Luke Shaw and right-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka were two of the best in the Premier League last season. While Wan-Bissaka proved his worth in defence more often, Shaw contributed to attacks.

Indeed, he followed that up with a standout showing throughout Euro 2020 for England.

However, the pair have dropped off alongside their team-mates this season. Wan-Bissaka, in particular, has struggled at times while Shaw has had injury issues recently.

Rangnick arrives at Old Trafford having made his name as a manager through his love of pressing football. In fact, Jurgen Klopp has taken inspiration from Rangnick for his Liverpool side.

As a result, Paul Ince feels that Rangnick must get Wan-Bissaka and Shaw up to a similar level to their Liverpool counterparts.

“I think what he’d want more is from his full-backs. You look at the full-backs putting balls into the box… he needs to work with Wan-Bissaka, he really does,” Ince told The United Stand.

“How can I put it? From an attacking point of view, the modern game is about players getting forward, we’ve seen it with [Trent] Alexander-Arnold and [Andy] Robertson.

“They are high up the park like a third attacker.”

However, Ince added that the lack of pace at centre-back is an issue that needs fixing before the full-backs can go forward.

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As for who could play at the heart of the defence, Ince backed Rangnick to pair Raphael Varane – when he is back with injury – alongside Eric Bailly.

Varane is a first-choice star when in the side, but Bailly has endured a mixed career at Old Trafford so far due to injury.

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“He [Rangnick] needs to work on getting his full-backs up the pitch and the reason why it’s hard for them to get up the pitch is because they’ve got no pace at the back,” Ince added.

“The full-backs have always been told by the centre-halves to stay alongside me because if it goes over the top we need a bit of pace. That’s the problem.

“I think it’s tough because Bailly is quick but can be erratic at times, but then can be outstanding at times as we saw in the Champions League.

“[Victor] Lindelof’s got no pace… even if you look at Varane who is quick and Bailly, then you’ve got two quick centre-backs.”

Rangnick’s first game in charge will likely be Sunday’s Premier League clash with Crystal Palace. Indeed, work permit issues have meant Thursday’s tie against Arsenal will come too soon for the German.


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