Ralf Rangnick is set to make a £ 80million bet on Manchester United’s defense – Omar Garrick

Manchester United’s performance in the draw against Newcastle taught the fans a lot about the team’s mentality.

It is far from me to question the mentality of a football player, but I know what I see on the pitch. When you consider that United were tipped to challenge the title this season, things look pretty bleak.

Ralf Rangnick was brought in to try and pick up the pieces after Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s disastrous weeks at the helm, and there was a real hope that the German tactician would save United’s season and potentially even help us regain our place at the top of English. football in the coming years.

That optimism did not last long to disappear.

Although United have yet to lose a game under Rangnick, the last two performances have been worrying, with Premier League champions Newcastle and Norwich both considering themselves unlucky not to take more from their respective showdowns with Rangnick’s men.

The players’ body language does not look good, the individual mistakes that spoiled Solskjær’s time under management have not been cut out, and there is now a real concern that United could miss a place in next season’s Champions League if the level of performance rises. . not improve.

On paper, United appear to have strengthened defensively with just two goals conceded in four showdowns under the new boss, though the heart of the defense still looks incredibly vulnerable.

Raphael Varane did not cover himself in glory as Newcastle took an early lead on Monday night, but we can forgive the World Cup winner as it was his first match back from an injury.

As for Harry Maguire, we have no more excuses to offer.

Maguire was signed by United for a striking £ 80 million and although it is hard to beat him with the price tag, given that he had no influence on how much the club paid for him, it is sometimes hard to forget the high fee .

The English national team player was certainly an improvement on United’s options for central defense when he signed for the club in 2019, but his performance this season has not been close to the level required by a man with United’s captain’s band wrapped around his arm. .

Harry Maguire from Manchester United reacts during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Manchester United at St.  James Park on 27 December 2021 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England.
Maguire has not been good enough for United this season

Last season was perhaps his best in a United shirt and it was clear how important he was to the back line, when when he was unable to play we lacked a leader in the middle of the defense.

He also had a sensational European Championship 2020 with England and was a vital part of a defense that only conceded two goals in seven games.

But like many of the players who almost delivered England their first European Championship triumph, he has not been close to the standard this season.

According to FBref, Maguire only has a tackle success rate of 50% this season and a winning rate of 70% in air duels, a figure significantly lower than his 77.5% compared to the previous campaign.

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Against Newcastle, he was all over the place and he could easily have cost United a goal before going backwards to Allan Saint-Maximin’s attack in the first half.

That’s a problem Rangnick needs to solve. As captain, Maguire should be a good example, but instead he just looks like a player who needs some time off the line of fire.

Rangnick, of course, needs to consider whether it would actually do him more harm than good to drop Maguire in the long run, but the United boss needs to solve this problem and quickly.

What do you think of Maguire’s performance this season? Follow our United On My Mind writer Omar Garrick on Twitter to get involved in the discussion and give us your thoughts on the matter in the comments section below.


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