Doubts around the Ralf Rangnick regime at Manchester United are already beginning to emerge with a number of their stars reportedly struggling to adapt to the training methods of the German.
The German coach – known as the Godfather of the Gegenpress – was expected to bring around a bright new era at Old Trafford. Indeed, following the removal of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as coach – life started brightly under Rangnick.
As such, results showed an immediate sharp turn, with the Red Devils now unbeaten in seven since Solskjaer’s departure.
However, the last two games – a 1-0 win at Norwich and Monday’s 1-1 draw at Newcastle – has seen United look way below what is expected. Our Player Ratings from St James’ Park tells you all you need to know about United’s display.
Now, according to the Daily Mail, the mood at Carrington and among United’s players has never been worse. They state that the morale at the club is now ‘very low’ and that cliques are starting to form among the players. That, in turn is leading to tensions within the group, leading to unhappy training sessions and a ‘fractured dressing room’.
The situation has also been exasperated by a recent upgrade to the canteen at Carrington. That has seen six, four-seater booths installed, and meaning players are forced to sit in groups. This, in turn, is said to be adding to the divide.
Furthermore, the Mail claims the squad are struggling to adapt to Rangnick’s training methods. These have been moved to late afternoons, rather than early mornings. That decision is said to have not gone down well with the players who are used to arriving early at their training base.
Lack of chemistry under Ralf Rangnick
On Tuesday, for example, the players did not leave Carrington until 5pm, when it was already dark. A number of stars are said to be unhappy with the change in routine.
Furthermore, there is a feeling that all is not clicking under Rangnick at United. Furthermore, Ronaldo’s lack of chemistry with some players – namely Mason Greenwood – appears to an issue.
The report cites Harry Maguire as also becoming ‘more subdued’ in his role as captain since Ronaldo’s return.
As a prelude to his arrival, much had been made as to what to expect from Rangnick’s training methods. One of the big changes was the introduction of Rangnick’s infamous countdown clock.
And while the Mail’s report does not cite his actual methods as an issue, they do discuss how his new 4-2-2-2 formation is failing to get the best from his squad.
Rangnick prioritising offloading players in January
The emphasis will be on trimming the squad down in January rather than building it up.
The report also reveals how the mood around the camp is not helped by a number of players wanting to leave.
The biggest of those names, Anthony Martial, is understood to be pushing for a move to Sevilla. The Spaniards saw an opening offer quickly rebuffed by United on Tuesday.
However, the forward has made clear to Rangnick his wish to move on.
He’s not the only one either. United have worries over Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard, both of whom are out of contract in the summer.
There’s also strong reports suggesting Juan Mata is close to leaving, while Edinson Cavani is another soon likely to depart.
Gary Neville blasts United whingebags
United’s tactics under Ralf Rangnick and desire among the players also drew strong criticism from Gary Neville on Monday.
Calling United’s senior stars “whingebags”, he was quick to highlight where United’s problems lie.
“You don’t want to go overboard in the sense that they’ve been off for 16 days,” Neville said at half-time.
“They’ve obviously got a new manager, they’re trying to get used to a new system. The balance of the team isn’t right. I was worried after Norwich. There’s no pressing, there’s no urgency. The basics of the game. Every single battle they’ve lost.
“That’s been a really poor performance that, honestly that’s a really poor performance. There’s not one single thing that’s gone right as a team.
“They’ve not done one single thing right and there’s not one single player who can go in at half-time and say they’ve done their jobs, or even say they’ve done themselves justice.”