Former Manchester United midfielder Luke Chadwick has given us his analysis of the surprise defeat at home to Wolves on Monday night.
Speaking exclusively to CaughtOffside, Chadwick expressed his disappointment at the big dip in performance levels from the Red Devils between the Burnley game and the Wolves game.
Chadwick described it as “one step forward, two steps back” as his old club succumbed to a surprise 1-0 loss, despite looking so much more positive in their 3-1 win over Burnley in the previous game.
“It was a real damp squib,” Chadwick told CaughtOffside. “There was real hope after the Burnley game, when we were really on the front foot and positive. A new year, a fresh start, but it was a real disappointment in terms of the performance.
“There was no energy, no real attacking intent, and Wolves were without a doubt the better team throughout the game and deserved the win.
“It was another case of one step forward, two steps back. It was a bit different from against Burnley, when Sancho was a bit wider, McTominay got forward well, and it looked like a nice balance. It was the same team against the Wolves game but it was like night and day really, there wasn’t the energy to get into the box or create chances and it was a really disappointing start to the year.
“We didn’t seem as narrow against Burnley, Sancho got into really good positions, Shaw got forward well. Against Wolves there was no dynamic movement, though their shape was good and they dropped a bit deeper, really frustrating United, who just ran out of ideas in the end. Not many of the players are at the top of their game at the moment.”
Rangnick hasn’t been in charge at United for very long, but the interim manager, who is in place at Old Trafford until the end of the season, already seems to be attracting criticism.
When asked if MUFC should’ve gone for a more proven name like Antonio Conte, who was available not too long ago before being hired by Tottenham instead, Chadwick insisted it was too early to say, and that Rangnick needs more time.
“It’s way too early to say that Conte would’ve been the better option,” Chadwick said. “Rangnick’s come in and this was his first defeat against Wolves, he can’t turn things around that quickly in terms of getting the team to play his way.
“What Rangnick talks about, he wants his teams playing a certain way and always wants high energy from his players, and at the moment United look anything but that. It seemed like the Burnley game might be a turning point with a really energetic attacking display, but against Wolves it was really dour.”