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Will Ralf Rangnick see out the season at Old Trafford?

The sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjær was supposed to put an end to the fiasco in the red half of Manchester. Yet, it seems the Norwegian super sub might have, in fact, been the final thread holding together an egotistical dressing room ready to burst at the seams. 

Yes, the results weren’t going Solskjær’s way and he probably should have been given the boot long before he was eventually sacked following an embarrassing 4-1 defeat away to Watford in November. 

And while the appointment of Ralf Rangnick on an interim basis until the end of the season looked to be an inspiring one from the club’s chiefs, it seems Solskjær had something the German doesn’t — a soft side. 

A weakness in many ways, as he was often critiqued for being smiley and jolly with the media after crucial defeats, it is a trait that still set him in good stead amongst the squad. 

Solskjær was a popular figure in the star-studded dressing room at Old Trafford, which was sometimes abused by the Manchester United players. But it was also perhaps the reason he stayed in the dugout for as long as he did when he really should have been sacked following that 5-0 home defeat against Liverpool almost a month prior to his dismissal.

Rangnick is already proving that he is no pushover. He is known for his demanding style of play, being credited for the creation of Gegenpressing and applying it everywhere he goes. However, everyone must give 100 percent at all times when playing with that method, and that hasn’t seemed to have gone down well with the players.

There were reported doubts around Rangnick’s position from within the squad earlier this month as they continually struggle to adapt to the so-called ‘Godfather’ of German football’s methods. 

Seemingly no better off in the English Premier League betting odds since taking over from caretaker Michael Carrick, the Red Devils have won just three of their six Premier League games under the former RB Leipzig coach, with 1-0 wins over Crystal Palace and Norwich hardly the most convincing of victories.

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Draws with Newcastle United and Aston Villa, blowing a 2-0 lead late on against Steven Gerrard’s side, are very concerning results, while the recent defeat at home to Wolverhampton Wanderers, a game in which they were completely dominated, left a lot to be asked of Rangnick. 

Those are just the issues on the pitch though, as there seem to be plenty more behind the scenes. The squad is believed to be divided and rifts are starting to appear between the wealth of Portuguese speakers, including Cristiano Ronaldo, Bruno Fernandes, Fred and Diogo Dalot, and those who do not speak their native tongue.

The finger has also been pointed at Harry Maguire a lot, with players putting the blame of their captain, while he is also supposed to be at loggerheads with Ronaldo. The latest controversy surrounding the wantaway Anthony Martial certainly hasn’t done Rangnick any favours either. 

The 63-year-old claimed after the 2-2 draw with Villa that the Frenchman had asked to be left out of the matchday squad, but this was something that Martial quickly took to Instagram to deny. 

“I will never refuse to play a match for Man Utd,” the 26-year-old said. “I’ve been here for seven years and I never disrespected and will never disrespect the club and the fans.”

With a dressing room in turmoil and just one win in their last four Premier League games, Manchester United are arguably no better off with Rangnick than they were with Solskjær. 

However, despite all the rumblings coming from within the Red Devils’ camp and his odds of being sacked in the Premier League betting tips shortening, it’s incredibly unlikely that the club’s hierarchy are going to go through the sacking and hiring process again at this stage of the season.   

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