Pundit claims Rangnick sacking at Man Utd wouldn’t ‘surprise’ him

Joe Williams
Man Utd boss Ralf Rangnick looks disappointed

Former Premier League striker Kevin Phillips “wouldn’t be surprised” if Man Utd chose to sack Ralf Rangnick before the end of the season.

Having bowed out of the FA Cup on penalties to Middlesbrough and been held at Premier League strugglers Burnley, the Red Devils managed to blow a lead to draw 1-1 for the third time in nine days on Saturday lunchtime.

Southampton were the latest side to frustrate Man Utd and could have even snatched victory at Old Trafford after Che Adams impressively cancelled out Jadon Sancho’s opener.


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Rangnick’s side have an unenviable schedule coming up, with a trip to rivals Leeds following after Tuesday’s Old Trafford clash with Brighton.

And Phillips insists that recent murmurs of discontent in the dressing room,  as well as criticism of Rangnick’s training methods, could spell the end of the German’s reign at Man Utd.

“It’s Man United – at the end of the day,” Phillips told Football Insider.

“They set standards and have done for years and years now. If you’re not meeting those expectations, then people have paid the price for that in the past.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if Rangnick were to go. We heard about something similar when Mourinho was there with the players questioning the training methods, and that didn’t last long.

“Once we start hearing rumours and that sort of thing, it’s a massive concern. And you can see that coming through on the pitch with the performances and body language of the players.

“It’s a concern and I wouldn’t be surprised if he didn’t see the season out and was soon sacked.”

Meanwhile, Rangnick is unsure whether a lack of fitness is an issue for his Man Utd players but accepts they must make sure their physicality matches their technical ability.

“To be honest, I don’t know if we are not fit enough in order to play that way because, as you said, I came in the middle of the season,” the German said ahead of Tuesday’s match against Brighton.

“We had no pre-season (together) and in essence only maybe two weeks in total in between where we could train in a normal way.

“If I watched the team in training and the way that it’s being prepared for games, I wouldn’t allow myself to say we are not fit enough to play like that.

“I don’t think that this is the case because then we would also struggle in the last 20 minutes of the game and both against Burnley and (on Saturday) in the game I think we showed that we were physically able to again play forward.

“We didn’t always take the right decisions, we were not as composed and not structured enough in the way that we played in the first half compared to the last half-hour.

“We were a little bit erratic in those moments. I would have wished us to stay a bit calmer and cooler but we had the chances.

“So, I don’t think that this is a question of physicality with regard to fitness but, yes, it might well be.

“As I said, the players that we have are technical players, they like to play technical football but in the Premier League no matter against which team – even more so against teams like Southampton – you cannot win games only in a technical way. You also have to show some physicality.”