Manchester United’s 1-0 defeat at the hands of Wolverhampton Wanderers spells the end of Ralf Rangnick’s honeymoon period at Old Trafford.
This was the Red Devils’ first loss under the interim boss, but their performances at Norwich and Newcastle were no different.
Against Wolves, United conceded 19 shots, including Joao Moutinho’s effort past David de Gea from the edge of the box. Despite being on the end of such a high number of shots, the centre-back pairing of Raphael Varane and Phil Jones were the least of their problems on Monday night.
Moutinho and Ruben Neves dominated the affairs in the middle of the park, and showed exactly what United lack in midfield. While their attack – led by Cristiano Ronaldo – yet again seemed disjointed.
Phil Jones’ game numbers vs. Wolves:
90% pass accuracy
7/8 duels won
7 ball recoveries
3 blocked shots
Stepped up after a long time away. 🤝 pic.twitter.com/csqV1Mplpi
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) January 3, 2022
Rangnick’s system demands high pressing from his forwards, but somehow Phil Jones managed to win possession in the attacking third as many times as the rest of the frontline combined in the first-half.
This was Jones’ first start in the league since January 2020, but it was the majority of his teammates who performed as if they hadn’t played senior football in two years – perfectly summing up the current situation at the club.
Considering how comfortably Bruno Lage’s men were able to find space out wide, Rangnick has some work to do tactically. But the German also needs to address the mentality and work rate of some his star players, as only Jones comes out of this defeat with his head held high.