To many already devastated Manchester United fans, it came as a shock that Ralf Rangnick was involved in weeks of negotiation with the Austria Football Association (AFA), despite the club’s woeful displays in the last five months.
United fans have seen their expectations of a blissful post-Ole Gunnar Solskjaer era under Rangnick evaporate, despite the impressive resume’ of the German,, as uncheery results roll in week-in, week-out
The 63-year-old took over at the club on December 3, 2021, when United were still in the UEFA Champions League and finished top of their group. However, he did not survive the Round of 16 clash against Atletico Madrid.
Since the former Schalke 04 coach replaced Solsjkaer in interim capacity five months ago, he has managed 20 games in the Premier League for United, losing five and securing six draws. It means he only won nine matches.
Also, the club have scored 54 goals in the league this season and conceded 52, which is just +2 goal difference for a club of United’s calibre and pedigree. The club also boast of having one of the worst and poorest defensive record in the league this season, letting in more goals than Brentford, Aston Villa and Crystal Palace.
Rangnick should be blamed for most of United’s poor results this campaign, having handled more games than Solskjaer, who was in charge until November last year. When the club sacked the Norwegian, they were 12 points behind leaders Chelsea at the time.
But they are currently currently 25 points behind their noisy neighbours, City, who are on the verge of lifting their third league title in four years.
Also, the ex-RB Leipzig failed to handle off-field issues in United’s dressing room. Some players had reportedly complained about the non-impactful of Harry Maguire’s captaincy, which allegedly divided the players on the pitch.
In the midst of the turbulence, Rangnick had the luxury of time to engage in talks with the AFA, even if his contract with United had permitted him. He would still consult for United until 2024.
The club’s hopes of playing in next season’s Champions League is all but lost now, as either of Tottenham Hotspur or Arsenal are favourites to clinch the final spot.
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Ashaolu Olufemi is a graduate of mass communication from Kaduna Polytechnic, and also a member of NIPR. His love for media and writing has become stronger with experience over the years.