Former Manchester United midfielder Luke Chadwick has spoken exclusively to CaughtOffside about Ralf Rangnick’s start to life as the club’s new manager.
The German tactician recently replaced Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Old Trafford, and will be with the Red Devils as interim manager until the end of this season.
Chadwick was pleased with how Man Utd got on in their first game under Rangnick at the weekend, with Fred scoring the winner in a 1-0 victory at home to Crystal Palace.
Even if it wasn’t the biggest win or best performance throughout the game, Chadwick felt he could instantly see how much of a positive impact Rangnick was having on the team with the tactical changes he made.
“You could see there was a different way of playing against Palace than it has been all season,” Chadwick told CaughtOffside. “I think it will go down as a positive start, it wasn’t free-flowing football all the way through but the team played with a lot more imagination.
“You could see differences in the way they played, with more numbers high up the pitch, you could see that Rangnick has stamped his authority on it straight away, and that’s what you want to see, the team change its style and get results.
“It’s a good run of games for him now over the next ten to twelve matches, you could see United getting some positive results out of them, so he’s come in at the right time. Carrick did a good job in the games he was in charge of but you could definitely see a change in style at the weekend.”
Chadwick specifically mentioned the change in formation, saying it looks like it could suit Cristiano Ronaldo well to play as part of two up front, something we didn’t see often under the previous manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
“It made a huge difference having two players up top,” Chadwick said. “I think it looked a lot more structured. The two central midfield players were closer together, and even Cristiano Ronaldo pressed more than he has for a while.
“It allowed United to pin Palace back in certain areas, and to win the ball back quickly as well. I think it’s a nice position for Fernandes, one of the two 10’s, coming off from the side a bit. I think with the players in this squad, it could also be a great opportunity for someone like Jesse Lingard, who plays that position incredibly well, coming inside and making runs beyond the front two.
“Obviously with two up top it also gives Rashford and Greenwood the chance to play more centrally. The support that Ronaldo gets could make a big difference to him.
“There were loads of positives to come from it. You don’t want to get over-excited but you hope this can be the start of a new era and getting the club back to where they want to be.”