A lot has been voiced about the execution of Manchester United’s players this season. Inconsistent performances have already costed to a title challenge and, eventually, cost Ole Gunnar Solskjaer his earning, but their work-rate could not be cross-questioned as Ralf Rangnick made a magnificent start to life at Old Trafford.
Rangnick’s debut match as Red Devils temporary manager came less than 72 hours following Michael Carrick’s last as caretaker boss.
Such was the closeness of Sunday’s match with Crystal Palace and Thursday’s 3-2 triumph over Arsenal, the German was offered just a single 45-minute training session on a pitch with his new squad.
Throughout an impulsive week in which his work permit was ratified and his recruitment was confirmed, Rangnick was keen to soften the speed with which his appointment could transform Manchester United’s fortunes.
But, to everyone’s astonish, including Rangnick’s, there were notable signs of refinement from the outset.
“To be honest, I was positively surprised by the physical state, intensity and performance of the players,” Rangnick confessed after Sunday’s 1-0 triumph over Palace.
His famous Gegenpressing tactics were noticable from the off, with Red Devils winning back possession in the final third six times in the opening 25 minutes, and six more times before the final whistle blowed. To associate it, the most United had controlled in a Premier League game this season was seven.
To recapitulate, a first home clean sheet at the 11th attempt, and Fred’s stupendous winning goal with his unfavoured right foot, and Rangnick’s debut, whilst not excitingly entertaining, gave an espy of what the future could hold for Manchester United aka Red Devils.