There are cliques within the Manchester United dressing room, a source has told Sky Sports News; United lost their first game under Ralf Rangnick on Monday night as Wolves punished another poor display; Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville has questioned the togetherness of the squad
Thursday 6 January 2022 14:08, UK
Some Manchester United players are struggling to adapt to interim manager Ralf Rangnick's methods and doubt whether he is the right man to be in charge at Old Trafford.
There are cliques within the United dressing room, a source has told Sky Sports News, adding that some of the players are finding it difficult to play in Rangnick's 4-2-2-2 formation.
Another source has told Sky Sports News that "they have the players at Manchester United who are ready to play, but they don't have the coach to get the best out of those players".
The same source also stressed that Rangnick's plans were disrupted in December, when the club had to close their Carrington training ground after a Covid outbreak, and that this has had an effect on performances.
Rangnick had not lost since arriving at United until Monday night, when Wolves punished yet another disappointing display by beating them 1-0, claiming their first win at Old Trafford since 1980.
United have struggled to adapt to Rangnick's high-pressing style of play, aside from a promising opening half-hour in his first game against Crystal Palace, and have gone on to scrape results against Norwich and Newcastle.
Following the 1-1 draw at St James' Park last month, after Edinson Cavani rescued a point for United, Sky Sports pundit Gary Neville questioned the togetherness of the squad.
After the game, Neville said: "Something isn't right in there. I don't know what it is, but there is definitely whinging going on - they are all at each other and not helping each other.
"The spirit of a dressing room is really important, and I don't think they're all with each other at this moment in time.
"There's a leadership struggle going on. Harry Maguire is the captain, but he doesn't feel like the captain."
Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher ahead of Newcastle game on Monday Night Football last month:
"They've struggled in the two games in terms of build-up and playing through teams.
"Straight away we know this system has no real width, and the big thing for me is the position of the No 10s. Teams can keep a narrow back four and rarely get stretched.
"My problem with this system when it's not working great is, you can have your four attacking players very close together. Now it's very difficult to get passes together and stretch the opposition.
"What it's really good for is winning the ball back. They lose the ball and counter-press - that's what the manager wants.
"No matter what system you play, you need width in your attack, whether that's the full-backs, the strikers or the No 10s going wide - you need width.
"You need to stretch the opposition and Manchester United haven't done that enough in the Crystal Palace or the Norwich game."
Marseille's Boubacar Kamara and Wolves' Ruben Neves are two of a number of players Manchester United have been looking at in their search for a new midfielder.
Newcastle United and Roma are also interested in 22-year-old Kamara, who is out of contract in the summer and can sign a pre-contract agreement with a club outside France.
Neves, who played in Wolves' 1-0 win over Manchester United on Monday night, is under contract at Wolves until 2024.
United's priority remains the summer transfer window but the club are open to doing business this month if a long-term target becomes available.
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Who will be on the move in January?
The January transfer window opens on Saturday January 1, 2022 and closes at 11pm on Monday January 31.
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