Manchester United were unable to play urgent game, admits Ralf Rangnick | Manchester United

Ralf Rangnick says he had to give up his pressing style of play three games into his interim reign at Old Trafford after realizing Manchester United’s players were unable to carry it out.

United will face Crystal Palace on Sunday for Rangnick’s last game, before Erik ten Hag replaces him. It marks the end of a disappointing season, which could result in seventh place, meaning United would play in the Europa Conference League next season.

“We just realized it was hard,” Rangnick said of pressing. “We had no preparation for the season, we couldn’t really develop ourselves physically and raise the level of the team. I’m the one most disappointed and frustrated about that.”

Rangnick believes United have been unable to adapt and many players were not fit enough to play under high pressure, such as Cristiano Ronaldo, who is likely to miss Sunday’s game with a hip injury. “Cristiano scored a few goals, but again, Cristiano – and I don’t blame him at all, he did great in those games – but he is not an urgent monster. He is not a player – not even when he was a young player – he was not a young player who would cry and shout, ‘Hurrah, the other team has the ball, where can we win balls?’

“Same with quite a few other players, so we had to make some compromises at some point, maybe we made a few too many – you can do that too – but, like I said, we never found the right balance between what we need with the ball and without.”

Rangnick blames himself for not being able to turn things around after he replaced Ole Gunnar Solskjær in December and won 11 of his 28 games in charge. “I’m more than self-critical,” Rangnick said. “I should have done better. I would have expected that me and my coaching staff could have developed this team in a more sustainable way. We couldn’t and it is not only the players who should be blamed, but also ourselves. We had it all can and should do better.

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“But to play that kind of football, you need all the players in their best possible positions who can play like that. You can’t blame the group here because they’re not signed based on, ‘How do we want to play, do we want that? kind of football?’ If you look at City of Liverpool, and the changes in the last six years, all signed players were based on ‘How does Jürgen [Klopp] or Pep [Guardiola] want to play?’ That has to happen here in the future.”

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