Paul Scholes says Ralf Rangnick is ‘not a manager’ after Manchester United squander another lead
- Jadon Sancho puts Manchester United ahead, his first league goal at Old Trafford
- Che Adams equalizes for Southampton just after half-time
- Fourth time in six games that United have lost a lead
AToday, he leads the club that once dominated the English game and Ralf Rangnick doesn’t seem close to freeing Manchester United from the overwhelming sense of mediocrity that pervades his side and once again threatens the momentum of the season.
Eight days, three games across the FA Cup and Premier League and not a single win in any of them for the interim king as all the old ghosts return. Cristiano Ronaldo beating and scowling, Harry Maguire losing in combat and Paul Scholes ominously delivering some home truths in the TV studio.
This is the United of the current era and arch-traditionalists might not appreciate the current manager citing the expected goals (xG) stats as an explanation.
For the first time since December 1998, United have failed to win back-to-back league games after leading at half-time, this time against a highly sophisticated Southampton side coached by former Rangnick protege Ralph Hasenhuttl . United had an xG of 2.57 in those 90 minutes, their caretaker manager said more than once in his post-match debriefing as he lamented his side’s inability to score and defend .
“Our team, with a lot of technical players, it’s hard for them to stay compact for long periods of time,” Rangnick said. “It’s one of our problems. We just don’t take enough advantage of the opportunities we create. We had a 2.57 xG against 0.7 for Southampton. It’s not a question of being able to create chances, it’s not efficient enough.
Another day passed without a goal for Ronaldo and there were a few times when the defense looked vulnerable. Meanwhile, the bigger picture was summed up by Scholes on BT Sport. He wondered if it was simply the difference between the coaches of the two teams, one of whom, he pointed out, was more sporting director than coach.
“Don’t get me wrong, I like this man, he’s looking good, but he looks like he’s been uncoached for the last five or six years,” Scholes said. “It’s a team of individuals. You look at the difference today between United and Southampton. Rangnick continues to claim that he inherited a team “that didn’t rush” and making changes is that much harder.
It was certainly another good day for Hasenhuttl, who changed formation several times, including dropping Oriol Romeu in the center of a back three, before choosing the one he liked.
His side’s goal was worked in from their own area before Mohamed Elyounoussi finally chose a delightful short pass through United’s back line for Che Adams to finish with a perfectly stroked shot that went inside the far post by David de Gea. “We were at their box and 10 seconds later we had conceded,” Rangnick said.