Manchester United have become so terrible in recent times that they need the coach of Southampton, coach Ralph Hasenhuttl to tell the players that they don’t track back whenever they are not with the ball.
Manchester United that used to be a force to be reckoned with in the Premier League have suddenly become a shadow of themselves that they can easily give up their leads to mid-table clubs.
From the beginning of the 2021-2022 season, Manchester United have been struggling to be consistent and their inconsistency has forced the club to sack coach Ole Gunnar Solskjaer mid-season.
But the problem of being inconsistent has persisted even with the arrival of coach Ralf Rangnick who was seen as a coach that has the technical know-how to turn the misfortunes of the club around for good.
Initially, it was looking like the Premier League giants have returned to reckoning as coach Rangnick was able to push the club from mid-table to the 4th spot before they dropped down to the 5th spot due to their inconsistency.
Things got to an entirely new height when the club played Championship side Middlesbrough in the 4th round of the FA Cup on February 4, 2022. To the dismay of the fans, Manchester United threw away a 1-0 lead to draw with the underdogs 1-1. The Championship side knocked out the Red Devils from the FA Cup campaign via penalties.
Back to the Premier League, on February 8, 2022, Manchester United traveled to Burnley to take on one of the struggling sides in the league. To the dismay of football enthusiasts, United threw away a 1-0 lead to draw 1-1.
As if that was not enough, on Saturday, February 12, 2022, Manchester United faced coach Ralph Hasenhuttl and his boys at Old Trafford. To the dismay of the home fans, the Red Devils threw away a 1-0 lead to draw 1-1 again.
After the game, coach Ralph Hasenhuttl could not help but comment on how the star-studded Manchester United side played. The 54-year-old Austrian tactician stressed that once Manchester United players lose the ball, they are not so good at falling back to defend.
1998 – For only the second time in their Premier League history, Manchester United have failed to win back-to-back matches despite being ahead at half-time in both, having last done so in December 1998. Slipped. pic.twitter.com/z9mwt6PWuP— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) February 12, 2022
Coach Hasenhuttl revealed that Southampton took advantage of Manchester United’s inability to track back to get a point from the team. The inability for United to trackback create more space at the defense of the team for the opposing team to penetrate.
“It is not a big secret that when they lose the ball that the reverse gears are not always the best from everybody”, coach Ralph Hasenhuttl said.
“The first half they have shown that they can play well against the ball, they had some good ball wins but the longer the game was going the more they are cheating than in the first line, and then you can play over this first line and you have space then, and you have the chance to create something, and this is what we did.”
Ralph Hasenhuttl's damning assessment of Manchester United problems after Southampton draw pic.twitter.com/Nszo8xa9ak— BeanymanSports (@BeanymanSports) February 13, 2022
On the part of Manchester United’s coach Rangnick, the German tactician believes that if his players can be more “aggressive” and “nasty”, the team would play better.
He said: “It was the third game where we were 1-0 up and I don’t think anyone out there should believe that the players don’t care, that they like to experience things like that today consecutively. This is definitely not the case.
“The question is with the group of players we have, how do we get more compact, more aggressive, and even more nasty, it’s about defending a lead. This is the major issue but it’s not a question of the players not wanting to do that.”
As mentioned earlier, Manchester United are currently sitting on the 5th on the Premier League table with 40 points in 24 games, on equal points with 4th placed West Ham United.
They tend to drop to at least the 7th spot if the 6th placed Arsenal win their two outstanding games and the 7th placed Tottenham win their 3 outstanding games.
Manchester United’s next Premier League game is against Brighton. It is expected to kick off at 21:15 on Tuesday, February 15, 2022.