'If only I'd had in-form Marcus Rashford!' - Ralf Rangnick hints things could have been different for him during ill-fated Man Utd spell & insists his ideas have been implemented since
- Rangnick struggled during spell at United
- But pointed towards Rashford and Shaw issues
- And highlighted lasting changes from his tenure
WHAT HAPPENED? The current Austria boss was installed at the helm in December 2021 on an interim basis, with it planned that he would later continue at United in a consultatory role. But following his poor run of results which saw United finish sixth in the league, and the subsequent appointment of Erik ten Hag, the German shifted his duties to the international stage. Looking back on his time in Manchester, Rangnick admitted that it "wasn't easy" due to personnel absences, but was keen to highlight some lasting changes as a result of his tenure.
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WHAT THEY SAID: “Of course, it wasn’t an easy time," the German told SPORT1. "The time to get there back then, there could have been cheaper ones. Obviously, the club has recognised the signs of the times. Many of the things that we discussed internally back then have now been implemented. They brought in a lot of new players. Other players who, for various reasons, were not able to perform at their best back then are now in top form again when they are fit.
“I think of Marcus Rashford. Luke Shaw is fit again at the moment and doesn’t have any major injury problems anymore. They are now a team again, so of course there were certain problems for certain reasons. “You now have the opportunity to develop as a team again, that they end up in the top four this year. I think you can say that now. And now in the FA Cup final against City, they even have a chance to win a second title.”
THE BIGGER PICTURE: At the time, both Rashford and Shaw were still suffering the mental and physical fallout of coming so close to European glory with England. This season, though, both have kicked on significantly under Ten Hag. Shaw has been forced into a less familiar centre-half role but has excelled, displacing previous stalwart Harry Maguire for much of the season. Rashford, meanwhile, has already recorded his career best tally, racking up a mammoth 29 goals and nine assists across all competitions.
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WHAT NEXT? Despite Ten Hag enjoying more success than Rangnick during his time at the club, United have failed to win in normal time in their last three matches across all competitions. Rashford and co. threw away a two-goal advantage against Tottenham last time out, and will be looking to bounce back against the league's form side Aston Villa on Sunday.