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Shaw questions Man Utd’s commitment after Wolves defeat

Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) – Manchester United defender Luke Shaw accused his side of lacking enough aggression, intensity and motivation after a meek 1-0 home defeat to Wolves on Monday.

A fourth league defeat in 10 games at Old Trafford this season leaves United still languishing in seventh, four points adrift of the top four.

United were expected to mount a title challenge this season after adding Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane to a squad that finished second to Manchester City last season.

But the Red Devils are 22 points behind City at the top of the table and closer to rock bottom Norwich.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer paid for a dreadful run of results when he was sacked as manager in November.

Interim boss Ralf Rangnick had picked up 10 points from his first four games in charge despite indifferent performances and they were finally made to pay as Joao Moutinho’s strike eight minutes from time secured Wolves’ first win at Old Trafford since 1980.

“We look our squad, our team, the players we have, we have unbelievable quality,” Shaw told Sky Sport. “Sometimes quality isn’t enough.

“We need to bring the intensity, we need to bring being more aggressive and we need to bring more motivation. I think maybe from the outside today, it didn’t look like we had any of them three.

“Inside the dressing room we know we want to win, we know what we want but I think when we step out on that pitch we need to give 100 percent, everything we’ve got.

“I think to win these types of games against a tough team like Wolves we all need to be 100 percent committed because we know it’s always close games whoever they play.

“We have time now to refocus. We’ve got a long training week and maybe the manager can bring some more ideas on what he wants on the pitch.”

Rangnick admitted he could not make any guarantees that United would recover to make the top four and ensure they do not miss out on the riches of the Champions League next season.

“I cannot make any guarantees. Look at today’s performance, if I say we are 100 percent convinced we will finish in the top four, I don’t know if people will believe that,” said the German.

“For me it is about taking the next steps and getting better. I knew this could be and would hard but today’s game showed we still have a long way to go.”

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  1. dave

    January 4, 2022 at 3:24 pm

    In case you did not see it, Kyle facilitated a nice discussion related to this topic, titled “Why clubs often hire from the same pool of managers”. Includes perspectives from Kartik and Keith Costigan. I believe it is still a top link on the WST home page. The YouTube video is embedded in the article.
    One takeaway is the need for alignment of philosophy across stakeholders (especially ownership and manager) with consistency over time. The alternative is an expensive collection of mismatched pieces that will collectively underperform in any system. Worth a listen if you have 30 minutes.

  2. Michael F

    January 4, 2022 at 3:24 pm

    This is similar to the same dumb debate where fans call for the sacking of Arteta because he isn’t getting anything out of the players at Arsenal after one plus season – when he is in the middle of a major squad turnover to go younger and trying to instill a different culture and leadership with the club. This kind of stuff takes time and more than any other sport I witness… soccer fans are easily the most impatient.

    I know you are not suggesting this, but Rangnick needs the rest of this season to see how he can leave a footprint to move Man U forward. And sometimes it looks worse before it gradually gets better under a new manager trying to do something different.

  3. Michael F

    January 4, 2022 at 3:15 pm

    @Mercator This is like the chicken vs the egg debate where we ask which came first. Player issues can indeed be a direct result of poor management and or direction and vision of a club.

    So you can repeat all you want that “It’s not the manager, it’s the players”… that won’t make you definitively correct and everyone else wrong.

    Rangnick has been at this job for 4 weeks, for crying out loud. Takes a heck of a lot longer than this to weed off bad habits and a splintered culture ingrained over the past 5 to 7 years that includes a constant management turnover.

  4. Mercator

    January 4, 2022 at 2:58 pm

    @Michael F – Yea I get that, but they just have been though so many managers now that it clearly seems to be a player issue. They didn’t like the hard nosed winner in Mou and didn’t play for him. They got a nice United boy who never said anything bad about them in Ole, and they didn’t improve or play well for him. Now they have again one of the top manages in the world based on past experience, and the same group of players still can’t seem to get it together to play for him. It’s not the manager, it’s the players. If a player doesn’t buy into what Klopp or Pep is saying, what happens at Liverpool or City? The player is quickly out the door, not the manager.

  5. Michael F

    January 4, 2022 at 2:41 pm

    @Mercator. I am not at all thinking Ragnick is not the answer, as he is just only a month into the job.

    That said, it doesn’t matter how many millions a player makes in any sport, they got to buy into what they’re being told to do. So much of this is chemistry and finding the right mix. And as we have seen countless times in sports, motivation goes far beyond money as the reward.

  6. Mercator

    January 4, 2022 at 2:02 pm

    @Greg – Phil’s problem isn’t lack of effort, he just isn’t good enough. Two years ago everyone looked at the guy and said brave guy will stick his head in anywhere, but just not good enough for united. Here is years later still on the squad, collecting £75k a week. You hear about all this “talent” United have, and then turn on a match and see Eric Bailly or Phil Jones scrambling around. You have talent and they don’t try, and then you have a bunch of guys who just flat out are not good enough. Do you think Fergie would still have Phil Jones on high wages in his squad nearly 2 years after it became clear where his ceiling is? They overpay the talent who don’t try, and then they keep some of these chancers who try very hard but just are not a top 4 club level talent. I’m surprised United haven’t gone for Trippier as well – ageing LB on massive wages on his last real big contract, that sounds right up United’s alley. Have to laugh at Haaland, Sancho probably called him up and whatever you do avoid Manchester.

    @Michael F – The culture is set in the dressing room by the squad. The manager can try to change that and some succeed, but with this group of players basically no one would succeed. Klopp couldn’t get shaw running no matter what he did – he would bin him and get a real fullback. I suspect that is what Ragnick will do in due course as well. It’s all that can be done when the squad has this sort of approach. These are all professional footballers making millions, they shouldn’t need a coach like Klopp to motivate them to run without the ball.

  7. Michael F

    January 4, 2022 at 1:01 pm

    @greg I completely agree with you on what you said right here… quote:

    “Mismatched players put together over different coaching eras. And the Ronaldo signing, late goals aside, has been more bad than good, causing problems where there were none (Fernandes) and papering over existing problems.”

    The vision of this team and what they are trying to be is not well defined.

  8. Michael F

    January 4, 2022 at 12:56 pm

    @Mercator I partially agree with you that… “it’s the players, not the manager.” The real issue is the CULTURE that has developed within the club since Ferguson retired. It does start at the very top as per usual and out spending the rest is not the solution.

    I believe only a dynamic figure, personality and manager of talent like Klopp or Pep would turn that situation at Man U around.

  9. greg

    January 4, 2022 at 12:44 pm

    @Mercator – Jones was there because they were short of center-backs. And to be fair, he played well, with Varane roving a bit more and Matic providing cover in front, which is what you want in a set-up like that, no matter who your CBs are. He may or may not be able to do that for weeks on end, but yesterday he was one of the few who played like he gave a damn.

    But overall the team is not good. Mismatched players put together over different coaching eras. And the Ronaldo signing, late goals aside, has been more bad than good, causing problems where there were none (Fernandes) and papering over existing problems.

    If they get a coach who can get the best of of Sancho, Rashford & Greenwod, get Decaln Rice (even if they overpay) and sort out right-back (Wan Bissaka ain’t it), they can do something. Not sure why they aren’t in on Trippier, unless they think Dalot or Telles can be better at RB.

    Jettison Ronaldo, hire Pochettino or Ten Haag, sort out center-mid and right-back, and there’s something there. Imagine a swoop for Haaland also.

  10. rkujay

    January 4, 2022 at 11:37 am

    Seems to me a couple of things happened. Ralf pushed the players to play his form of 4 2 2 2. They played for ten minutes and decided that was too difficult. Ralf, believing he was actually hired to be Wreck it Ralf, and do a complete rebuild was informed otherwise by the marketing department and the board. It appears to me Ralf is hamstrung…already.

  11. Mercator

    January 4, 2022 at 11:28 am

    It’s the players, not the manager. Luke Shaw of all people saying United don’t play with enough aggression, almost spit out my coffee. Mou was right about him and basically half the squad – they are worthless and no manager is going to get those overpaid bums into shape. Pogba mugs them off on a biweekly basis and then you have guys like Martial who want to act like Mbappe despite netting 1 and playing for 300 minutes in a full half season. Now they will say Ronaldo is the problem when he calls them out for being do nothing losers happy to collect a huge paycheck from the leprechauns who run the club.

    I don’t like united but after 3 managers now its clear this squad is taking the fans and the club for a ride. Chelsea squad did this nonsense as well, but they actually won when they got a new manager. These guys let down manager after manager, they are on their second and third chances. How was Phil Jones on the pitch yesterday?

    But credit to wolves as well. I saw some stat the other day, Wolves are far and ahead of any other club in points per goal, something ridiculous like 2 points per goal. On 14 goals and in 8th place at the New Year lol, they make it count.

  12. Michael F

    January 4, 2022 at 10:42 am

    @Roberto Well said. I often wonder what Man U would look like as the same squad with Pep Guardiola or Jurgen Klopp managing them. I bet far different than what we see today.

    Considering Man U had a legend as manager for so many years that demanded discipline on and off the pitch, its odd that this club struggles to find that winning combination again.

    I guess its hard to follow in a legend’s footsteps that brought so much success to the club. In some respects, Arsenal had faced this too after the great Arsene Wenger years, although he stayed on a bit too long. Maybe Liverpool and Man City will face that problem in the future after Pep and Klopp leave their respective positions.

  13. Roberto

    January 4, 2022 at 8:55 am

    Man. U. have one of the highest payrolls in the EPL, yet you see players being spectators while they are one the field. Since Chris enjoys Rock and Roll, there lack of effort is like the song, “Money for Nothing”, without Mark K’s fine guitar work.
    Last week we saw Leicester win against Liverpool via a high work-rate, probably three of M.U.s players receive more money then Leicester’s starting eleven. This income disparity really hurts the EPL (and our country).

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