Ralf Rangnick played Fred and Scott McTominay in his new 4-2-2-2 formation on Sunday and was full of praise for the pair after Man United’s 1-0 win over Crystal Palace
Midfielders Fred and McTominay were regular starters under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer with mixed results.
A section of the United fanbase didn’t approve of Solskjaer’s reliance on the pair to protect the Red Devils’ defence and have backed plans to sign a holding midfielder, with Declan Rice and Kalvin Phillips targets.
But Rangnick played the duo in his new 4-2-2-2 formation on Sunday, with Fred even getting on the scoresheet for United, and was full of praise for the pair after the match, labelling them “almost perfect”.
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Rangnick said: “If you play the way we played today with regard to intensity, with regard to being on the front foot, playing proactively and having four offensive players ahead of Scotty and Fred, with Jadon, Bruno, Cristiano, and Marcus, it’s highly important you have players who are very disciplined, proactively aggressive against the ball.
“Scotty and Fred are almost perfect defensively on that. There were one or two or three mistakes, in the first half, two square passes, one from Scott and one from Fred, I don’t like those kinds of balls in midfield from those positions.
“Overall, as I said, the other team in possession of the ball, Fred and Scott are almost perfect.”
Fred and McTominay weren’t the only players who caught Rangnick’s eye during United’s win over Palace.
Cristiano Ronaldo, whose future looked a little uncertain ahead of Rangnick’s official takeover, also impressed his new boss with his movement off the ball.
“The only thing missing was the 1-0 or 2-0. The way we defended, we had control of the whole game, the clean sheet was the most important part. These are the things we must improve. We need to keep clean sheets. With just one training session, I was really impressed. We did much better than expected.
“We always tried to be on the front foot. We were never not apart from maybe the last five minutes. At all other times, we were trying to keep them away from our goal. We wanted to play with two strikers, especially in the central position. By the way, Cristiano Ronaldo’s work off the ball, chapeau.”