Sky Sports’ Paul Merson described Manchester United’s appointment of interim manager Ralf Rangnick as “lazy” after their “embarrassing” 1-0 defeat to Wolves.
United were undefeated under Rangnick since joining the club following the departure of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, reaping results despite some below average results. But they were ultimately beaten by Bruno Lage’s Wolves on Monday night thanks to Joao Moutinho’s late goal.
Merson, in his latest column for skysports.com, thinks United now need to rethink their managerial position and act quickly if they want to get anything out of this season.
Read on for Sky Sports expert’s verdict after yet another bad night for Manchester United …
“Ronaldo changed Manchester United’s plan”
My opinion of Manchester United hasn’t changed and it hasn’t changed since day one. It won’t change either.
They had a plan. They chased Jadon Sancho for who knows how long, they would play counterattacks with pace and energy, and it all went out the window when they signed Cristiano Ronaldo.
Now, football is slow. Ralf Rangnick is playing 4-2-2-2 with two midfielders, who you ask to turn the pitch and play against four.
To be fair, Scott McTominay was their best player, but Nemanja Matic can no longer run on the pitch. He’s not the player he once was, and against the Wolves they just died.
They were absolutely massacred.
Look at the two in midfield for the Wolves, Ruben Neves and Joao Moutinho, they put on a show at Old Trafford.
“It was embarrassing for United”
It was embarrassing for Manchester United. Embarrassing.
Watching the game, I’d get to the point of being embarrassing. United didn’t have a plan and it was as if the players went out and did what they wanted. They were playing their game.
If they played five passes and you scored a goal, they wouldn’t score!
I’ve never seen anything like it from Manchester United. It is worrying. This is Man Utd and they were torn apart against the Wolves at Old Trafford.
I know people will say they hit the crossbar and Jose Sa made a good save, but surely Man Utd should have more than two chances per game, especially at home.
‘United flattered to deceive’
It was really poor, but let’s be honest, look at the games they’ve had. United have won games but flattered themselves to deceive.
They went to Norwich and won 1-0 with a penalty from Ronaldo, but Norwich really should have gotten something out of the game. Since that game, the Norwiches have absolutely been flushed out wherever they have been.
They drew with Newcastle and were very lucky to have a draw at St James’ Park. They beat Burnley 3-1, but how lucky were they in that match? Everyone said Manchester United were back, but I thought Burnley was unlucky. They had many chances and with better quality in the last third they would have created problems.
Then United play Wolves and they never seemed to score. Wolves are good on defense, yes, but United are a million miles away.
Now you need someone who comes in and is special. I think Manchester United have been lazy. They took the easy option of not appointing a full-time manager.
“United now need someone special”
Everyone told me Rangnick was the one, but he has never worked with these players before. He didn’t work with this player standard.
It’s okay to go to an inferior club and say I will; these players want to get there and will listen. These players are already there.
Now you need someone who comes in and is special.
I think Manchester United have been lazy. They took the easy option of not appointing a full-time manager. This Manchester United. It is the largest club in the world. Go and do something. Bringing someone in for six months is just plain lazy.
Speaking of what he did at RB Leipzig or what he did at Schalke, they were two teams at the bottom. Sure, Leipzig are the club they are now, but it’s not like they came with a record of victories on a truck loaded with stuff.
Then everyone talks about the pressing. We were pressing in 1989. The great Everton team of the 80s, the great Liverpool teams of the 70s and 80s, were all pressing. They were all shutting down people.
When you watch this United, you can’t tell me they press.
Moutinho is 35 years old and he was directing the show at Old Trafford. Not one person tackled him in the whole game. I mean, seriously!
“Something is happening at Old Trafford”
Something is happening at United. I don’t know what it is, it’s not my job, but they have to solve it with vivacity because this was a great opportunity.
They have to get the first four. They should be in the top four, but it’s not working right now.
They’ve had good encounters and still have good ones coming up, but it’s not like they’ve been impressive.
The trust is completely gone and I care about them. They need to fix it and fast because this was as poor as possible.
Who will be next for United? “They have to act quickly …”
They really lost the boat with Antonio Conte.
When you look at Tottenham now, it was just lazy from United that they didn’t go for him.
Spurs are a completely different team now. He came in and spoke, and how can you not listen to a guy like Conte. He has won the championship wherever he has been. Come in and don’t mess around.
On the other hand, Rangnick is united for only six months. What can he do at that time?
He can’t go in and start tearing it up and telling players they’re not good enough. The players think he is just six months old, they will have fun and wait for the new manager in the summer.
That is the question.
‘Go buy a manager!’
I’m Manchester United. They are the biggest soccer team in the world.
They have money so go and buy a manager. They buy wings for £ 70 million to £ 80 million. They give players who are 36 £ 400,000 per week. If you are, go out and buy a manager.
A manager is the most important thing in a football team, and we saw that with Chelsea when they brought Thomas Tuchel last season. Come in and they win the Champions League.
It’s one of the things I don’t understand with football. It’s all about money, transfers and hiring players, but no one ever pays a lot of money to fetch a manager.
If they do, everyone talks about how much they cost, but if you don’t have a manager you’re not winning anything, in my opinion.
Manchester United need to act fast.