Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick broke down the clash against Newcastle United in his usual clear, analytical way.
The German manager oversaw a disappointing draw vs the home side in what should have been a routine win for the visitors.
According to the club’s official website, Rangnick said: “I didn’t like it [the performance] at all. We’ve been trying to get better at controlling games – today, we didn’t control the game apart from a few moments.
“It’s all about energy, physicality and who wins the second balls and the transitional moments and, in all those areas, we were not at our best. In the end, we got a point but the performance overall needs to get better.”
Rangnick again stressed the need to get physical: “Today was not a question of body language, it was a question of body physicality.
“The body language was not that much of a problem today, but if you want to be competitive here against Newcastle, then you have to get physical and this was not the case in many parts of the game and, therefore, we were struggling.”
He also denied accusations the formation was wrong: “Today, it was not a question of formation – it was a question of how aggressive we were.
“It was a question of energy and, in those areas, we need to get better, including what we were doing when we’re in possession of the ball.”
Lastly, he added: “I was not happy with our performance with the ball or when we had to press and counter-press. It’s about sprinting, about energy and what kind of energy mode do we play with the ball and against the ball.”
Rangnick also reserved special praise for one player: “In the end it could have been 2-2 – again there were two or three fantastic saves from David De Gea, similar to the game at Norwich, but we also had our chances to score a second goal.
“For sure, David is one of the best goalkeepers in the world – he showed that at Norwich and in the game today.”
It’s clear to see Rangnick was not impressed with the way the team played and the match did not go the way he envisioned.
Some fans have called on the former RB Leipzig man to keep it simple because the players clearly can’t keep up with his tactics.
However, it could be argued it’s still too early and that Rangnick should stick to his guns, particularly since the next manager who comes in will likely field similar tactics.
The players must get used to playing high tempo, high pressing football and it’s better they get started from now rather than next season.
Both managerial candidates in PSG’s Mauricio Pochettino and Ajax’s Erik ten Hag both have styles similar to Rangnick and it would help either one of them if the current interim manager can get the players going from now.