Bruno Fernandes explains why Ralf Rangnick failed at Man United

The final six months of the 2021/22 season were difficult for everyone associated with Manchester United and Bruno Fernandes, United’s best performer for the 18 months preceding that period, badly struggled.

Fernandes was Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s main man and when the Norwegian was sacked and succeeded by Ralf Rangnick, United collapsed and were lucky to finish in the Europa League places.

In truth, the damage had already been done before Rangnick put pen to paper on a six-month deal and there was little he could do to halt the uncontrollable nosedive.

The last two months were particularly painful. The ultimate demise can be mapped back to the round-of-16 loss to Atletico Madrid in the Champions League.

The Reds won just two out of the next nine games and when the season was up and Erik ten Hag’s appointment was confirmed, Rangnick announced that he would not continue in a pre-agreed consultancy role.

All in all, Rangnick’s stint at United was an ugly episode and Fernandes has now explained why it all went wrong, arguing that the atmosphere was too low.

“Ralf came with his idea of playing with intensity and pressing and how he was used to playing in Germany,” Fernandes told The Athletic, via the Manchester Evening News.

“But it did not quite work out with us because there was an atmosphere between everyone where the confidence was low and everything was really down. It is really difficult to come off when you are in that run. It is nothing to do with Ralf. He tried his best.

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“He is a good manager with good ideas but it did not fit with everyone. This is because the team had been built with Ole (Gunnar Solskjaer) and his idea, and then a new manager comes in with (his own idea).

“That probably could be the difference at the club because every manager who has been here has had different ideas, so they bring different players in.”

SN’s verdict…
Rangnick was never supposed to succeed at United – it was a fantasy scenario and almost impossible in reality. The idea that his infamous discipline and pressing philosophy would immediately transform United was unrealistic.

As Fernandes points out, it’s incredibly difficult for a manager to succeed if he’s trying to patch up a squad built by several different managers.

Some good did come from Rangnick’s reign, however. The problems were made obvious to see for everyone and perhaps that has made it easier for Ten Hag.

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