Ralf Rangnick gave an honest assessment of Scott McTominay and Fred’s displays in a new 4-2-2-2 formation in Manchester United’s 1-0 Premier League win over Crystal Palace
Ralf Rangnick has demanded Scott McTominay and Fred cut “square passes” out of their games after leading Manchester United to victory in his first match in charge.
McTominay and Fred formed the midfield pivot and the latter scored the only goal in a 1-0 win over Crystal Palace on Sunday.
The German was largely impressed by the team’s performance and praised his midfield duo for their “aggressive” pressing and “disciplined” positioning.
However, United’s newly-appointed interim manager admitted there is still room to improve, instructing McTominay and Fred to remove dangerous sideways passes from their repertoires.
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“If you play the way that we played today, with regard to intensity, being on the front foot, playing very proactively, and having four offensive players ahead of Scotty and Fred – with Jadon, Bruno, Cristiano and Marcus – it’s highly important that you have players who are very disciplined, who are proactively aggressive against the ball,” Rangnick told reporters.
“And both Scotty and Fred are almost perfect defensively on that. They did one or two or three mistakes, especially in the first half there were two square passes – one from Scott, one from Fred.
“I don’t like those kinds of balls in midfield in those positions. But overall, when the other team is in possession of the ball, both Fred and Scotty they are almost perfect for that kind of football.”
Rangnick named an unchanged United XI from the one which defeated Arsenal 3-2 on Thursday in what was Michael Carrick’s final game as caretaker manager.
While Carrick deployed his team in the 4-2-3-1 shape they were accustomed to under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Rangnick tweaked this set-up to the 4-2-2-2 he often used at RB Leipzig.
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“It seemed logical to not change too many things or too many positions after the win against Arsenal,” he added. “So in the end, after everybody was fully fit, nobody injured, fully recovered, I decided to play the same starting XI.
“And for me the question is how do we get pressure on the ball, how do we get control? Then I decided to play a 4-2-2-2 with two strikers, no Cristiano alone up front, go with Marcus, use his pace for vertical balls and at the same time with Jadon and with Bruno in the two 10 positions.”