Manchester United are facing into the pivotal period in their season under interim manager Ralf Rangnick.
Over the next few weeks, they will face games against the likes of Leeds United, Manchester City, and Liverpool, as well as their Champions League knockout tie against Atletico Madrid. Those fixtures will go a long way to deciding how the remainder of their campaign plays out.
They are still very much in the mix for the top four, although they have done little since the German's appointment to instil confidence that they will manage to secure one of those spots in the months ahead. Despite picking up the occasional victory in recent times, they continue to perform very poorly and the results have not been to the level required.
It is certainly not the type of team many expected to see under Rangnick. The 63-year old was expected to implement a high energy pressing style and get the side playing as one unit, although they continue to look just as fragmented as they did at the tail end of the Ole Gunnar Solskjaer era.
Tim Sherwood not impressed by Ralf Rangnick
Speaking on Sky Sports, Time Sherwood said that Ralf Rangnick looks as though he is well out of his depth at Old Trafford, questioning his ability to handle such a big club.
"Fragmented on the pitch, fragmented in the board room. I'm not sure who's doing what at Man United." 🤨
Will Manchester United finish in the top four? pic.twitter.com/ckUQt3ThXq
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) February 19, 2022
You need to keep it all in house. It's alright them all coming out and defending each other, that's it's all rosy in the garden and they're all pointing in the same direction. They need to show that on the pitch.
It doesn't look like that. They look fragmented on the pitch, fragmented in the boardroom. I'm not sure who is doing what at Manchester United, not only on the football pitch but off the pitch needs to be sorted as soon as possible.
I don't see an improvement since Ralf Rangnick has been at the football club. I certainly don't see a playing identity.
I hear a lot of different terminology coming out from Ralf. I think his motto is 'if you can't convince, confuse'. Sometimes that wins, but it doesn't necessarily win in the dressing room. The players see through that.
At the moment it looks like he lacks a little bit of presence, in my opinion, to be Manchester United manager. If you're Man United manager you're going to have to deal with big characters and big players, he's never had to do that.
He has done a fantastic job at bringing through young players at development clubs in Germany, and he has done well at that you have to say, but he has never managed a group like this with world stars and winners.
I still believe they will finish in fourth, they've got the best players to do that. Then again, that would be the best players prevailing and not the best teams. I think he's certainly not getting the best out of that group of players.
It is true that Manchester United have not improved under Ralf Rangnick, although how much of that can be put down to his is open to debate.
It is a squad that looks in need of a major overhaul, something that will not be accomplished overnight. That is an issue that is not down to one man to solve.