Man United are on the lookout for a new permanent manager, and interim manager Ralf Rangnick could be on the verge of making his strongest case for the position.
Given the wide range of opinions held by Manchester United’s fanbase, every decision the club makes will polarize the fanbase, especially when the club is as large as Manchester United. The search for a new permanent manager is a prime example of this at the moment, with the decision on who will take over at Old Trafford potentially shaping the club’s fortunes for the next decade.
Many names have been mentioned as potential candidates for the position when it becomes available after this season, but the two current frontrunners for the position are Erik ten Hag and Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino. There does not appear to be a clear favorite among United fans, and no matter who the club chooses, a significant number of social media supporters will be quick to express their displeasure if the candidate they are rooting for is ultimately overlooked.
The only thing that supporters appear to agree on is that a change is required at the end of the season, though interim manager Ralf Rangnick may well have his own plans to remain in his current position on a permanent basis. However, by the end of the month, fans may be hoping that the German will be given more consideration for the role he has been playing since he joined the crew to steer the ship through very rough waters.
Despite the favorable opposition, the team has consistently struggled to assert their dominance at United despite manager Christoph Rangnick’s best efforts. The game against Manchester City this weekend will be the toughest test of his reign thus far, and arguably the defining result of his reign.
United have at least shown signs of steady progress under the German, despite the fact that things have moved slowly under him. In the Premier League, they are unbeaten in their last eight games, which is the longest current unbeaten streak in the competition (W4 D4). They have scored the opening goal in seven of those eight games, with the other ending in a 0-0 draw.
Still much work to be done, but unlike under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, there is a noticeable increase in control over matches and a clearer understanding of what United are attempting to achieve this season. United could already be in a commanding position in fourth place in the Premier League if they improve their finishing; it is important to note that Rangnick is not necessarily to blame for their profligacy in the final third.
Although no team has created more chances than Manchester United in the Premier League since Rangnick took over the reins, only four teams have scored more goals than United during this time span. The wastefulness of Manchester United is concerning, but the absence of Mason Greenwood, who was suspended, and Edinson Cavani, who was injured, has limited the options available in attack.
Pep Guardiola’s team played as if it were a weekend team-building exercise rather than a legitimate day at the office the last time the two sides met at Old Trafford, in one of the final games of Solskjaer’s tenure. Rangnick’s stock will only rise if they can put in a better performance on Sunday and go toe-to-toe with their obnoxious neighbors.
However, for all of the steady progress made under the caretaker manager, there has always been a huge caveat in the form of the caliber of their opponents. During the weekend, they will be put through the most difficult test possible.
As supporters continue to debate the merits of Ten Hag and Pochettino’s positions, Rangnick may be about to reveal his most compelling evidence to date.