Wayne Rooney has displayed concerns over Manchester United’s new system under Ralf Rangnick.
In an interview with Alan Shearer (The Athletic), Rooney gave his first impressions of United’s new playing style under the German coach.
“I’ve been to a few games, taken my kids. Obviously, it’s been difficult for them. I think it had got to the point with Ole where everyone could see it was coming to an end.
“With the new manager now, you don’t know. I’m sure it’s a lot different to anywhere he has managed before. There’s a lot more pressure, managing a lot of high-profile players.”
However, he felt that this system would be tested by a stronger opponent.
“I was at his first game against Crystal Palace and I thought they looked very good. My only concern, with that shape, was that when you come up against better teams — Liverpool, Man City, Arsenal — you could get punished.”
“The most important thing is that the players need to buy into it. He needs to get them working as a group rather than as individuals.”
Rangnick suffered his first defeat on Monday night against Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Trafford. United struggled to keep up with Wolves’ midfield and were dominated in the middle of the park.
Rooney’s assessment of the formation makes sense and Rangnick could opt to revert to a three-man midfield.
The former United striker has taken over the near-impossible task of managing Derby who are on the brink of relegation to the third tier of English football.
The Rams were handed a 12 point deduction by the EFL for breaching financial fair play rules. In November they were penalised another 9 after the club admitted to breaches of Profitability and Sustainability (P&S) rules.
The penalty takes Derby’s total deductions for the 2021-22 season to 21 points. Rooney’s side is currently punching way above their weight, losing just five games.
— The Athletic UK (@TheAthleticUK) January 4, 2022
“For the players, it’s a chance to create a legacy,” said Rooney. ” It’s a chance to create history. Nobody has ever done it before, from minus 21 points, and stayed up.”
“It’s an opportunity to become heroes with the fans. You could argue it would be the greatest achievement in the club’s history.”
“There might not be a trophy at the end of the season for us to lift but, if we did stay up, it would be a massive achievement.”