Manchester United’s new era begins today at 2pm when they play host to Crystal Palace.
New interim manager Ralf Rangnick is taking over the first team from the dugout for the first time, after Michael Carrick left the club following the conclusion of his spell as interim manager to bridge the gap from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s departure.
Under Carrick United went unbeaten, picking up a draw against then league leaders Chelsea and all three points against Arsenal, and footballing philosopher Rangick will hope for that run to continue under him, naming an unchanged starting xi from the one that beat Arsenal 3-2.
However, Rangnick has lost the services of one player who may have played a big part in today’s fixture – Jesse Lingard.
ESPN’s Rob Dawson has reported that Lingard twisted his ankle in training, forcing him to miss today’s game.
Jesse Lingard not in the squad today. Twisted his ankle in training.
— Rob Dawson (@RobDawsonESPN) December 5, 2021
Lingard is a player known for his off the ball work, having been used by former United boss Jose Mourinho and current West Ham United boss David Moyes as a key component in hard working teams, a quality Rangnick would no doubt appreciate considering his distinctive style of play.
Whether Lingard would have ultimately started today’s game regardless of injury is up for debate. But Rangnick will hope that a player so suited to his style will not be injured for too long, as he will need the full extremities of his squad to play a part during the hectic Christmas period and to find the balance he wants in order to mould ‘his’ Man United.