Gabriel Agbonlahor has given his opinion on Ralf Rangnick’s tenure at Manchester United as the 63-year-old closes in on one month at Old Trafford.
Agbonlahor, who works as a pundit with talkSPORT was commenting on Manchester United’s 1-0 victory over Norwich City at Carrow Road.
The match was Rangnick’s second Premier League game in charge of United. The Red Devils showed marked signs of improvement in defensive areas like in his other game but still struggled to threaten in the final third.
They needed a 75th minute Cristiano Ronaldo penalty to see off Norwich City and condemn the Canaries to another week in the relegation battle. Agbonlahor, however, saw no changes in United’s game.
He told talkSPORT: “I understand Norwich are fighting for their life and they’re going to put pressure on you, but I didn’t see any difference from the Ole Gunnar Solskjaer reign.
“The performance, all I saw [on Saturday] was Jadon Sancho and Bruno Fernandes playing more narrow. There was no presence in the pressing, I think the only person I saw press in the first half was Cristiano Ronaldo when he gave the ball away, he went to win it back.
“Everyone was excited for this new manager but for me, now, the jury is still out. If it wasn’t for David De Gea I think Norwich win the game. Even if Norwich were at 100 percent, the quality Manchester United have got on the field they should be beating Norwich three or four-nil.
“Maybe they [the players] didn’t do what Ralf Rangnick wanted today because we hear about this high press, intensity but today didn’t see that and maybe he’s disappointed in the way his team pressed because there was only one team pressing and that was Norwich.”
Rangnick unhappy with United attackers
Rangnick seems to share Agbonlahor’s opinion on Manchester United’s pressing as he did not hold back in his appraisal of his players’ performances to the media after the game.
United’s attackers got much more flak from their interim manager than his midfielders and defence. “Offensively, we had some nice moves but didn’t always find the best possible solution in the first half,” the former Lokomotiv Moscow advisor said.
“And in the second half, especially after we scored our goal, it’s a question of intensity, we conceded too many corner kicks from either side.
“It was never a game where we had the feeling nothing could happen and this is something we have to get better at.”
Regardless of the German’s feelings after the match, he has now entered his name into Manchester United’s history books after the 1-0 win made him the second coach in 118 years to keep two Premier League clean sheets in their first two matches.
He’s also only the second coach in United history to achieve this feat.
United were to take on Brentford but a COVID outbreak at Carrington led to the match being postponed. Rangnick will now have a few more days to drill his ideas into his squad to get them operating in the way he desires.