It is true that not everything that glitters is gold, but it is also true that things that do not glitter can be gold as well. That is precisely how Manchester United has been under Ralf Rangnick.
Manchester United do not play beautiful football, in fact, they are not even close to it. But what they do get right is churning out results.
Manchester United has not appointed Ralf Rangnick for the club to play sumptuous football, they have appointed the man to get results by hook or by crook.
Now, United is not playing like a Man City or a Liverpool but they are, however, churning out results some way or the other. It’s not pretty, it’s not beautiful but Rangnick is extracting results.
We are not speaking without evidence though, in the 17 games that Ralf Rangnick has managed so far, United has won 9 times, drew on 5 occasions, and have only lost thrice.
Agreed they don’t play beautiful football but purely looking at results, Rangnick has done a professional job at United so far.
Well, the latest result against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League was no different.
The side massively struggled in the first half, so much so that it was even difficult to stay in possession. It was a horrendous performance by Man United, almost through the entire game. Yet somehow like they always do, managed to salvage something out of the game.
Joao Felix scored a flying header early in the first half and Atletico looked dominant throughout the game, hitting the crossbar on a couple of occasions.
Rangnick then made a substitution, bringing on Anthony Elanga, who scored on his first touch of the game in the 80th minute, tying the game.
Nothing else was added, and the match ended 1-1.
In fact, this theme of matches ending in a low score has been evident throughout Rangnick’s short tenure at Manchester United so far.
Out of the 17 matches he was managed for United, 11 of those have ended with not more than 2 goals being scored in the match.
6 of them have ended in a 1-1 draw including the match against Atletico, 4 of them ended in a 1-0 victory for Manchester United and a sole 1-0 defeat against Wolves at the start of January.
So, Ralf Rangnick has devised a method for containing games somehow. His Manchester United team does not play spectacular football, nor do they score many goals, but on the bright side neither do their opponents.
He has only faced defeat thrice in his 17 games, which is a commendable feat especially given the fact that this United side is very inconsistent.
Ralf Rangnick is not a tactical genius like a Pep Guardiola or a Jurgen Klopp, but he is making the most of what he can.
Manchester United has been a shadow version of itself since Ferguson’s retirement, basking and reminiscing in the club’s long-gone golden days.
Not winning a single trophy in the last five years, and not winning a Premier League title in the last nine years, is uncharacteristic of Manchester United.
It is only in recent times that United fans have made peace with this unfortunate reality.
Yes, it was not in the script, but they have to accept and move on.
The Ralf Rangnick factor will suffice for the immediate future, but in the long run, United needs to take some big decisions and have long conversations, if they wish to bring back the glory days at the theater of dreams.
It will be a long road ahead and United fans need to prepare themselves for a rebuild, probably for the 100th time since Ferguson left.
Yes, it’s terrible and recurring, but United supporters must maintain their optimism and rekindle their heartfelt hopes.
Because once it clicks and the red devil awakens, it’ll all be worth it.
The Stretford End will finally find solace as the glory days would have finally made their return to Old Trafford.