Brighton and Hove Albion brutally thrashed Manchester United at Amex Stadium on Saturday past. Graham Potter’s men ended the Red Devils’ mathematical hopes of qualifying for the UEFA Champions League 2022/23. The defeat also raised the glaring question: Did Ralf Rangnick cost Manchester United their spot in the CL?
The humiliating losses against Liverpool and Manchester City at Old Trafford and poor form made Ole’s sacking inevitable. The club did not wait long before they appointed Ralf Rangnick as the interim manager and consultant for the 2022/23 and 2023/24 seasons. When Ole Gunnar Solskjaer left, the Old Trafford outfit was six points behind fourth-placed West Ham United.
It’s been the same story since Ralf took charge. The German had a comfortable set of games to try and plug the holes in the team and achieve mostly positive results. The former RB Leipzig manager instilled confidence in United supporters with his tactical talks in the press conferences and the changes needed.
However, he could not get the results in the easier run of fixtures. Out of 12 games (before Manchester United faced a traditional “top six” opponent), he could only garner seven wins and five draws.
In these 12 games, Man United only managed to score more than a goal in only five games. They also had three games end in 1-1 draws despite having an average possession of 61%.
Manchester United Before and After Ralf Rangnick in Premier League
Before Ralf Rangnick arrived at Old Trafford, Solskjaer and Michael Carrick managed the side for 14 Premier League games. Following a poor run of games, the club sacked the Norwegian and appointed Carrick as the interim manager, who only took charge against Arsenal.
Prior to 02nd December 2021
Number of PL games played: 14
Goals scored/Goals conceded: 24/24
Points per game: 1.5
Since 02nd December 2021 – to date
Number of PL Games Played: 23
Goals Scored/Goals Conceded: 33/32
Possession: 52.73 %
Points Per Game: 1.6
(Stats via fbref.com)
What Are the Positives Under Ralf Rangnick?
Ever since he took charge, it is very hard to find positives in the team’s performances. The win against Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea are the only two to cherish. Even in these games, Cristiano Ronaldo bailed the boys out.
Though the points per game look better under the German at the moment, if Manchester United lose their last of the campaign at Selhurst Park, it will drop from 1.6 to 1.54. The only metric that United might have fared better in is the possession stats. However, if they cannot maintain possession of over 30% against the Eagles, that would also drop to 51.78%.
From a fan perspective: he gets all the praise for calling out the players, calling out the management and talking about the tactics. However, honesty never earns one a spot in the Champions League. The poor managerial performance might even cost the Red Devils a place in the Europa League and they could end up in the UEFA Conference League.
The poor performance from the players and lack of adaptation by Ralf to sail through the Premier League games have now cost the club a spot in Europe’s top club competition.
United are set for the worst finish ever since Sir Alex Ferguson announced his retirement. In terms of points, They can finish the season with 61 points with a win over Crystal Palace; Before this their worst was 64 points in the 2013/14 season.