Manchester United’s interim boss Rangnick watched his side stumble to a 1-1 draw with Newcastle on Monday night, meaning he has taken seven points from his opening three top-flight games
Rio Ferdinand and Owen Hargreaves have been left red-faced after predicting that Ralf Rangnick had a chance of masterminding a 10-game unbeaten run as Manchester United manager.
The Red Devils’ interim boss Rangnick watched his side stumble to a 1-1 draw with Newcastle on Monday night, meaning he has taken seven points from his opening three top-flight games at the club.
That may suggest United are beginning to find form following Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s sacking last month, but the Old Trafford giants have underwhelmed on the pitch and they were arguably fortunate to leave St James’ Park with a point.
Rangnick did, however, get off to a perfect start at United when he guided the club to a well-deserved 1-0 win over Crystal Palace in his first game in charge.
After that game, BT Sport pundits Ferdinand and Hargreaves were in buoyant mood – and predicted that United could pick up a maximum 30 points from their next 10 league games.
“You look at that (list) and think wow, there’s not many there that would frighten you or put you on the back foot,” Ferdinand said.
“They’ve got to go into that thinking they could come out of the final game against Southampton in a really, really good position.”
Hargreaves added: “That is win, win, win, win, win… it should be thirty points. No, seriously.”
Ferdinand concluded: “You’d hope so.”
The pair may have had hope – but their bold prediction has backfired at the second hurdle.
After scraping a 1-0 win against Norwich in Rangnick’s second league game, United saw matches over the gruelling festive period with Brentford and Brighton postponed due to Covid.
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They eventually returned to action against Newcastle, but were unable to live up to the expectations of former United stars Ferdinand and Hargreaves.
Rangnick, meanwhile, did not pull any punches in his post-match interview, admitting that his side’s performance was poor.
“Today we didn’t control the game apart from a few moments,” Rangnick told Sky Sports. “It’s all about energy, physicality and who wins the second balls. In all those areas we weren’t at our best.
“You have to be ready and able to win those direct duels and this was not that often the case. When we were in possession we had too many giveaways and even with the goal, that doesn’t make things easy.
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“Today was not a question of body language, it was a question of body physicality.
“If you want to be competitive here you have to get physical and this was not the case in many parts of the game.
“Our biggest problem was the mistakes we made. Even when we scored the equaliser we were not really controlling the game and taking the right decisions.
“I didn’t like the performance at all.”