“Probably the wrong decision” – Rangnick criticised for surprise Man United tactical decision vs Leicester

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Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick has been criticised for deciding not to start Marcus Rashford in the draw against Leicester City at the weekend.

The Red Devils instead opted for attacking midfielder Bruno Fernandes filling in up front, which didn’t look particularly convincing as Leicester dominated the game and looked unlucky not to come away with three points.

Rashford being left on the bench when there were no other strikers available has certainly made headlines, and former Man Utd midfielder Luke Chadwick is the latest to question Rangnick’s decision to try an experimental setup with Fernandes up front instead.

“It was a typical Old Trafford performance really, for this season,” Chadwick told CaughtOffside. “The team lacked ideas, didn’t create a high number of good quality opportunities, and Leicester were probably the better team on the day. They’d have deserved that winning goal if it hadn’t been disallowed.

“The change of shape didn’t look like it worked, with Bruno Fernandes playing that role up front. It doesn’t look like they’ve really nailed that system, whereas you look at teams like Manchester City who’ve obviously done a lot of work on it to perfect it. Fernandes wasn’t terrible by any stretch of the imagination, but he probably didn’t influence the game as much as he’d have liked.

Bruno Fernandes started over Marcus Rashford

“It’s still a work in progress, as it has been since Ralf Rangnick took over – the results aren’t the worst, but in terms of where the club wants to be, it looked like another nail in the coffin in terms of getting that Champions League spot. It was another two points dropped, especially with Tottenham and West Ham winning, so they’ve only got an outside chance to get the top four now, relying on other teams to drop points.

“It was another disappointing result, and a disappointing performance. It’s a big concern that Leicester looked more likely to get the win, for a club of United’s stature, playing at home at an important stage of the season.

“In hindsight, it was probably the wrong decision not to start Marcus Rashford. The manager obviously sees these players in training, and he felt Fernandes was the better option to play a sort of false nine role.

“It is quite concerning that Rashford didn’t start, because about 12-18 months ago you’d never have expected that, particularly with players like Cristiano Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani both out injured. This looked like an opportunity for him, but it is a concern in terms of Rashford’s future. When a decision is made on the new manager, hopefully we’ll have a clearer idea of what the squad will look like next season.”

James Maddison impressed against Manchester United

Chadwick also praised James Maddison for his performance for Leicester, with the 25-year-old a little unfortunate not to end up as the match-winner with a late goal ruled out by VAR.

Despite some inconsistency in recent times, Maddison still looks a top talent, and Chadwick expects he could still have a big career with the England national team and earn a transfer to a big six side if he plays like this more often.

“James Maddison impressed me. For me, without a doubt, he’s a player who has the talent to move to a bigger club,” Chadwick said.

“You could see at the weekend what a talent he is, he finds fantastic positions between the lines, and he sees the passes before anyone else does. He has fantastic technique, delivery from set plays, he’s got the intelligence to know where to be on the pitch, playing one touch or two touch.

“I think if he’d broken onto the scene more like five or six years ago he’d be a regular in the England squad, and it’s more about the embarrassment of riches that England have in that position now, with the likes of Jack Grealish, Mason Mount, Phil Foden, and even Conor Gallagher this season as well.

“Still, if he performs consistently as he did at the weekend, he’ll have interest in him, both from England and from bigger clubs. I think he’s a huge talent and I think he’ll have a fantastic career, most likely at a top four or top six club, if Leicester don’t get there themselves in the coming years.”

More Stories Bruno Fernandes James Maddison Luke Chadwick Marcus Rashford Ralf Rangnick