Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick came under heavy fire along with Cristiano Ronaldo after they suffered a Premier League defeat to Wolves
Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick has been hammered on social media after his team lost at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers following another lackluster showing.
United went down 1-0 to the visitors at Old Trafford after a late strike from the edge of the box by Wolves midfielder Joao Moutinho found the bottom corner of David de Gea’s net.
The hosts saw a Cristiano Ronaldo goal correctly ruled out for offside earlier in the second half while Bruno Fernandes rattled the crossbar and then drew a fine save from Wolves goalkeeper Jose Sa with a free kick deep into injury time, but United could not breach the visitors’ defense in front of a frustrated home crowd.
The defeat was the first in six matches for United under new interim manager Rangnick, who came in after the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer amid widespread optimism that the respected German would soon transform the team with his brand of intense ‘gegenpressing’ football.
Instead, United have labored through much of Rangnick’s period in charge thus far, which before Monday had yielded narrow Premier League wins against Norwich and Crystal Palace, a 3-1 victory over Burnley, and a dire performance in a 1-1 draw with Newcastle.
Against Wolves, United were much the poorer team in the first half and although they roused somewhat in the second they were still unable to break down the visitors and ultimately paid the price.
▪️ Four points off fourth-place Arsenal▪️ Scored more than one goal in one out of six games under Rangnick▪️ One win in their last three gamesMan United mood 😑 pic.twitter.com/ZRtVRc3A30
— B/R Football (@brfootball) January 3, 2022
1980 – Wolves have picked up their first away league win against Manchester United since February 1980, ending a run of 10 visits to Old Trafford without a win (D3 L7). United. #MUNWOLpic.twitter.com/a1lIOGRVSz
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 3, 2022
Online, rival fans such as Arsenal supporter and TV personality Piers Morgan were quick to put the boot in.
“Ralph Rangnick really is a miracle worker – he’s made United even worse,” mocked Morgan.
“They should have gone for [Antonio] Conte when they had the chance. Madness for a club this big to have such a small-time manager.”
Ralph Rangnick really is a miracle worker – he’s made United even worse. They should have gone for Conte when they had the chance. Madness for a club this big to have such a small-time manager.
— Piers Morgan (@piersmorgan) January 3, 2022
Rangnick’s football isn’t pressing, it’s depressing.
— Troll Football (@TrollFootball) January 3, 2022
Rangnick breaking records already! Wolves’ first win at Old Trafford since 1980 🐺🐺🐺
— Footy Accumulators (@FootyAccums) January 3, 2022
United fans were fuming, with some accusing Rangnick of merely being a “yes-man” and not nearly ruthless enough.
“Rangnick to blame for this,” tweeted one angry supporter.
“If you come out and tell these players that they are safe to serve up more sh*t by saying ‘Now isn’t the time to talk about new signings’, they will serve up more sh*t. Going nowhere till we get a ruthless manager.”
A fellow United fan raged: “I thought we were meant to be a team who pressed now?
“Have you seen any evidence of that? Even with postponed games/training ground closure, how have the players taken on nothing from Rangnick? First half against Palace then nothing. Unbelievable.”
I thought we were meant to be a team who pressed now? Have you seen any evidence of that? Even with postponed games/training ground closure, how have the players taken on nothing from Rangnick? First half against Palace then nothing. Unbelievable.
— Scott Patterson (@R_o_M) January 3, 2022
No change. Rangnick is another yes man picking the players he’s told
— Mark Goldbridge (@markgoldbridge) January 3, 2022
Rangnick will perhaps bemoan the spate of absences through injury and Covid, particularly in defense where Phil Jones made a first appearance in almost two years.
Jones ended up being one of the better performers on a night in which Ronaldo – handed the captain’s armband in the absence of the injured Harry Maguire – was again peripheral to proceedings.
Ronaldo was subjected to yet more criticism online, just a few days after United icon Gary Neville had ripped into his former teammate for supposedly “whinging” on the pitch and having a demoralizing effect on some of his teammates.
Presumably the thinking behind giving Cristiano Ronaldo the captaincy was to improve his body language. It didn’t.
— Jason Burt (@JBurtTelegraph) January 3, 2022
When are United fans going to admit that they’re playing with 10 men with Ronaldo on the pitch?
— Kurt (@Kurt0411Fifa) January 3, 2022
“We didn’t play well, individually or collectively,” said Rangnick as he attempted to explain United’s problems.
“In the first half we had big problems to keep them away from our goal. In the second half we changed formation to a back three, we had more control in the second half and a better spell of 15 minutes where we could have scored.
“The goal that we conceded, we had enough players in the box… but it was one of too many this season where Moutinho could just shoot completely unmarked.
“We’re very disappointed with the result and parts of the performance… We have to admit they deserved to win.”
🗣 “We didn’t play well at all.” Ralf Rangnick admits Manchester United had problems controlling the game which explains the formation changes pic.twitter.com/Uo4YywAnpL
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) January 3, 2022
Any hope that Rangnick’s arrival at United would bring an immediate uplift in performances and the mood appears to have evaporated just one month into his tenure, with the Old Trafford club stuck in seventh in the Premier League table, four points behind fourth-placed Arsenal but with a game in hand.