Ralf Rangnick accepts blame for failing to turn Man United’s season around

‘I should have done BETTER’: Ralf Rangnick takes the blame for Man United’s dismal season… as he admits that he has had to make ‘compromises’ after realising that Cristiano Ronaldo ‘is not a pressing monster’

  • Ralf Rangnick was placed in charge for the final six months of the season
  • He has failed to guide Manchester United to a top-four finish this term
  • He has accepted that he should be blamed for his side’s failings
  • Rangnick has hinted that he should have realised Cristiano Ronaldo would struggle to press from the front 

Ralf Rangnick has accepted blame for Manchester United’s collapse this season by acknowledging he shouldn’t have expected a team spearheaded by Cristiano Ronaldo to adopt an energetic press.

Rangnick wanted to bring a high-octane game to Old Trafford when he replaced Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in November but was unable to find a successful Plan B when it became clear the current squad weren’t suited to that.

United have lost their last five away games and need to beat Crystal Palace today to be sure of finishing sixth and avoid dropping into the Europa Conference League next season when Erik ten Hag will be in charge. Rangnick admitted: ‘We never came near to that aggressive, pro-active football I’d normally want to do. It has to do with physicality if you want to play like that. I should have done better and developed this team in a more sustainable way.

Ralf Rangnick has admitted that he should have done better during his time at Man United

‘I am not blaming Cristiano at all, he did great in games, but he is not a pressing monster. Even when he was young, he wasn’t shouting, “The other team has the ball, where can we win balls?”

‘It was the same with quite a few other players so we had to make compromises at one stage. We never found the right balance between what do we need with the ball and without the ball.’

Rangnick will be the Austrian national team manager next season but will retain a smaller role at United as a consultant.

He says the appointment of Ten Hag should at least give United an idea of what type of players they need in the summer transfer window when there will be spaces in the squad with Juan Mata, Nemanja Matic, Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard all leaving.

Rangnick has said he should have accepted Cristiano Ronaldo's lack of pressing sooner

Rangnick has said he should have accepted Cristiano Ronaldo’s lack of pressing sooner

Rangnick fully expects incoming manager Erik ten Hag to make changes to the squad

Rangnick fully expects incoming manager Erik ten Hag to make changes to the squad

‘If you saw the way that Erik’s Ajax team play or his Under 23s team at Bayern Munich, it’s pretty obvious how he wants to play and clear what kind of players he needs.

‘There will be changes. I think it’s obvious to everybody, the owners and every supporter, we need to increase and raise the level of quality within the squad.’

It’s a sign of how far United have fallen that the target is qualifying for the Europa League.

They are currently in sixth position two points ahead of West Ham but have an inferior goal difference. West Ham are at Brighton and the ‘prize’ for finishing seventh is going into the Conference League.

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