Villarreal v Manchester United: Match in Pictures
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Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s sacking on Sunday seems to have been rectified quickly with the supposed appointment of Ralf Rangnick. But comments have come to light of the German interim manager criticising Luke Shaw in the press – which could cause unnecessary problems before he has even arrived.
Rangnick, 63, had been touted to become United’s interim manager earlier in the week as the Red Devils looked to hire a new boss as soon as possible.
With the club looking to appoint someone permanent in the summer, the German was considered the top candidate for the United role to rapidly stop the club’s incredible drop in fortunes.
Yet with Mauricio Pochettino’s apparent interest in leaving Paris Saint-Germain, rumours came around that the Argentine would return to England after a two-year hiatus.
But with talks yet to progress, United have now opted for Rangnick for six months before the German takes on an administrative role.
However, his time at Old Trafford could already get off to a bad start after a video surfaced of the ex-Leipzig manager criticising Shaw for not being up to standards at United.
Shaw joined Old Trafford in 2014 for a fee of £30million – making him the most expensive teenager in world football at the time.
He started well until breaking his leg in a game against PSV Eindhoven a year after his arrival, and his career nose-dived soon after.
Yet a resurgence in 2018 saw him regain his position as United’s first-choice left-back, and he’s made the role his own ever since.
And the man who scored England’s opener in the Euro 2020 final has established himself as one of the world’s best left backs. But Rangnick’s former comments may mean that Alex Telles will start for United ahead of the London-born defender.
“They could do with a left-back, I know they have Luke Shaw but I’m not so sure if he’s still on the same kind of level you need for a club like Manchester United,” Rangnick said back in September 2020.
Pochettino will remain in the French capital for the time being – which could be to Shaw’s dismay.
Shaw spoke highly of Pochettino, having played under the PSG manager at Southampton in his early career.
“He used to call me his son,” Shaw wrote in Guillem Balague’s book on Pochettino.
“That’s how good our relationship was. I’ve had lots of ups and downs, but when I was with Pochettino it was only ever up, up, up.
“He made me feel that I was the best. He’d show me clips of my games and say, ‘You could do this better’. Not in a horrible way. Not I could have done better, but I should have done better, because he knows I can be better.
“I think with Southampton he achieved the impossible. We were one of the best footballing teams in the league.
“I do hope that I can play for him again one day. And I think he really wants me to play under him again.”
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