Two players catching Rangnick’s eye | Dailytrust

Two players catching Rangnick’s eye

Diogo Dalot
Diogo Dalot

Manchester United’s interim manager Ralf Rangnick has wasted little time in putting his game strategy into practice and two players have emerged with their futures looking secure. Rangnick is delighted with the performances of wing-backs Diogo Dalot and Alex Telles as the two put in 100% efforts in training and then against Crystal Palace. They have taken to pressing forward, controlling their respective wings and taking the play towards opponents. Under Ole Gunner Solskjaer, Luke Shaw and Aaron Wan-Bissaka were cemented into the wing-back roles but they are now likely to spend more time on the subs bench. In response to what I wrote last week regarding Cristiano Renaldo’s workrate, now he is 36 years-old, he did exceptionally well against Palace and impressed his new manager by spending much of the match running from attack to defence and back again. He made more tackles in this game than his previous nine starts. Rangnick was impressed and said so several times this week. The new manager also pointed to a Ronaldo header when he cleared the ball from his own penalty area and then raced 50 yards to close down an opponent. It is the Rangnick way of playing. 

Salah puts on the pressure for new contract

For me Mo Salah is currently the best striker in Europe and he is using his tremendous talent to pressure the Liverpool management into agreeing a new contract on a salary which he believes is more in keeping with his contribution to the Liverpool title challenge and reflects his importance within the team. Mo is using the news from Barcelona that they are interested in signing him even if they are struggling financially. Mo himself is happy to let the rumours spread to put more pressure on the Reds. Bayern Munich are also watching his contract situation and are financially in a better position to make a bid for the Egyptian. His current deal runs out in 2023 and although Liverpool are desperate to keep him they will not break their wage structure which limits salaries. Mo said this week, “If the decision is up to me I want to stay in Liverpool. But the decision is in the hands of the management and they have to solve this issue. A player’s financial value shows how much the club appreciates you and they are ready to do anything for you to stay. The Barcelona connection is something that makes me happy but I’m happy in Liverpool and want to stay and will see what happens in the future.”

Injuries threaten West Ham’s progress

David Moyes has achieved the near impossible at West Ham with continued presence at the top of the league and challenging for a Champions League place next season. His progress is now threatened because West Ham do not have great depth in their squad and tend to play the same team each week. Injuries are his main concern and this week the club informed me that the Hammers defensive problems increased with Kurt Zouma’s hamstring injury scans showing up to be worse than anticipated. The heart of Moye’s defence is also missing Angelo Ogbonna who is out for the rest of this season with a serious knee injury. Moyes is discussing potential January transfer options with his management to strengthen his squad. 

Torres eyes return to Spain

Manchester City winger Ferran Torres admits that he is behind Phil Foden, Riyad Mahrez, Jack Grealish, Gabriel Jesus and Raheem Sterling in the pecking order at Maine Road. The 21 year-old has been unable to command a starting place in Pep Guardiola’s first team and is now looking at other options. He has confirmed to friends in the UK and Spain that he would be open to a move to Barcelona. I know that Barca’s Chief Executive has spoken with some directors at City. Torres will not press for a move but is aware that the Spanish side are interested in him. 

Origi the super sub

Super subs are super heroes. Just think back to Ole Gunner Solskjaer winning the European Cup for Manchester United in 1999 with a late winner after coming on in the second half of the match. Fast forward twenty two years and Liverpool’s Divock Origi is earning the same accolades from his manager Jurgen Klopp. Coming on late into the game against Wolves he scored the winning goal for the Reds in extra time and this week against Milan in the Champions League Klopp was again full of praise for the Belgian as he gave Liverpool victory in the 54th minute after coming off the bench. Klopp said that although Origi might not be a regular starter he remains a vital part of his squad and is as important as any of his players.

Bielsa struggles to keep Leeds on track

Under pressure Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa has never previously spent more than two seasons at any one club. Currently he is in his fourth season with Leeds but is threatened with a relegation battle and the fans are turning against him. Bielsa has to make his enormous experience work for him now before it is too late. None of his summer signings have made an impact and injuries and Covid have hurt his team more than most in the PL. Despite suffering another slight injury this week returning Patrick Bamford and Luke Ayling will help the cause but the old master must start to bring in results and the word “sack” is being quietly whispered behind the scenes. His star midfield performer Kalvin Phillips is likely to be out for two months with a hamstring problem according to Bielsa. Leeds are only six points above the relegation zone and their next four matches are against Chelsea, Manchester City, Arsenal and Liverpool. Can Bielsa survive?

 Benitez wins battle of the giants

When a manager and his Director of Football do not see eye to eye it spells trouble for the club. When a change was required in the manager’s seat at Everton Marcel Brands did not recommend Rafa Benitez for the job. He had other ideas. Rafa got the job and set about changing the club. Brands had brought in a dozen players prior to Rafa’s arrival and many of them were not worth the money paid. In the following battle for supremacy at the club between Brands and Benitez it was Brands who lost and his resignation accepted. Owner Farhad Moshiri is a great believer in Benitez and is backing him to turn this season’s long list of failures into success. 

Grealish finding it difficult to establish himself

Pep Guardiola has sent out a warning to his Manchester City summer signing, “I am not thinking that the best we will see of Jack Grealish is next season. I want to see it this season or there will be trouble!” Grealish himself, so used to being the star attraction at Aston Villa, admitted that he has found the transition to playing for City difficult. Even his £100million price tag, which makes him the UK’s most expensive signing, cuts little ice in a City side that has many individual stars and for once Jack isn’t the stand-out act. He remains positive however and said this week, “I wouldn’t say I have struggled but I found it hard to get used to being here at the start. I’ve not had the assists and goals I got last season at Villa but I’m never one to doubt myself.” Guardiola emphasised that Jack hasn’t played a bad game since joining him but he hasn’t yet reached his peak of last season.

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