Manchester United Running Euro Risk

Image Credit: Man United”, by Ardfern licensed undeCC BY-SA 4.0

The Champions League is key for all the big clubs in England and Manchester United are certainly no exception to this rule as they battle for a return to Europe’s elite competition next season.

However, the Red Devils will need to get close to top form over the coming months to achieve it, as they are having to play catch-up in the Premier League standings.

Pressure on United to Deliver

Following the departure of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at Old Trafford, the United hierarchy opted to bring in Ralf Rangnick on an interim basis, before appointing a permanent manager in the summer. United, who are now ranked outsiders with Marathonbet to win the Premier League title this season with odds of 250/1, made a big decision in not bringing in a permanent manager immediately after Solskjaer’s exit. Whether the right person was not available, or whether the Old Trafford hierarchy felt pressure to get someone in as quickly as possible is uncertain. What is certain, however, is that United have brought in a manager in Rangnick who has a focused philosophy on how he wants the game to be played.

United are in the process of adapting to the German tactician’s style of football, which looks set to continue after he leaves the dugout, as Rangnick will take up a consultancy role with the club going into next season. The club can take credit for trying to look to a long-term style to bring about success.

Since the departure of Sir Alex Ferguson, the Red Devils have been somewhat lacking in a consistent style of football. Rangnick might well be the man to install a footballing philosophy back at Old Trafford, but it’s in the short-term where some of the concerns may lie.

Champions League a Must For United

If United are to try and narrow the gap on the likes of Manchester City, Liverpool, and Chelsea in the Premier League standings, then securing Champions League football is key. A 1-1 stalemate with strugglers Newcastle United back in December, before a 1-0 defeat to Wolverhampton at the start of 2022, saw Rangnick’s side drop valuable points at home in the race for fourth. It’s no secret that playing in the Champions League helps to attract the best players in the transfer market, and missing out on the competition would be a real hammer blow for United.

Questions also remain over who will stay and who will leave at the end of the current campaign, with Cristiano Ronaldo’s future the topic of speculation.

The Portuguese star has been key for United this season, scoring 14 goals in his first 21 games of the campaign. There have been suggestions that Ronaldo could cut short his second spell at Old Trafford, and missing out on the Champions League for next season would certainly not help United’s cause in keeping him.

It’s going to be an intriguing second half of the season for Manchester United and time will tell if their decision to bring in Rangnick was the right one.