Ralf Rangnick reflects on Wolves defeat
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Ralf Rangnick is struggling to keep a lid on growing divisions within the Manchester United dressing room. Luke Shaw became the latest to hint at tension in the camp suggesting after defeat to Wolves that the squad were not “together” and lacked commitment.
In addition to rising tensions between clearly defined groups in the first choice XI there are now thought to be as many as eight players actively looking for a way out of the club.
Shaw was unflinching in his criticism of prevailing attitude suggesting quality players were coasting and lacking commitment.
It followed suggestions made by Gary Neville following the draw against Newcastle that there were cliques forming in the dressing room.
Harry Maguire, Edinson Cavani and Mason Greenwood are believed to have found the undroppable presence of Cristiano Ronaldo a challenge to their expected roles.
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And there is frustration from some others about the influence he holds over international team-mates and other Portuguese-speaking players.
Rangnick admitted on his arrival that he thought the United squad was “a little big” but he is reluctant to dismantle even one piece of it on account of them being alive in three competitions.
The FA Cup clash against Aston Villa next Monday will give Rangnick chance to keep players eager for more game time happy.
Dean Henderson, who has been put back on the bench by the return to form of David De Gea, Donny van de Beek, Juan Mata, Marcus Rashford and Jesse Lingard are all likely to start.
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Ivory Coast international Eric Bailly has gone on Africa Cup of Nations duty however. Both Paul Pogba and Lingard are meanwhile expected to leave on free transfers next summer.
Disaffected players are nothing new at football clubs but Rangnick seems to have inherited more than most from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
One of the criticisms of the Norwegian was that he became too close to certain players who it was perceived received favourable treatment at the expense of others.
Rangnick said post-Wolves: “We didn’t play well at all individually or collectively. We have to admit they deserved to win.
“We didn’t press at all. We tried but we were not able to get into those pressing situations. They had an overload in midfield and they played via their wing-backs.
“We’ve been only working two and a half or three weeks after needing to close the training centre. We had the results. In times we played well but today we have to admit they’re better than us.
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“The game showed we still have a lot of work to do. We had too many unforced errors. I don’t want to speak about individual performances of players. It’s an issue of the whole team. It doesn’t make sense.
“We have to see each individual game. So far we had 10 out of 12 points. Today we had our first defeat against a good team.
“They don’t score that many goals, today they scored the only goal. Today the question was who will score the first goal.”
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