After the disappointing draw against Leicester City, Champions League qualification is becoming increasingly difficult for Manchester United. Now Ralf Rangnick criticises his stars and looks to the future.

Manchester United are still in crisis.

After their elimination in the Champions League round of 16 against Atlético Madrid, they now also have to fear for their participation in next year’s Champions League. For years there has been a huge gap between the aspirations and the reality of the former dominator of the Premier League.

This became clear again on Saturday. Interim coach Ralf Rangnick’s star-studded side only managed a 1-1 draw at home to tenth-placed Leicester City – too little for the Red Devils’ standards.

“Second-class in terms of physicality”.

With currently only seventh place in the table, Champions League qualification seems to be in serious danger. The German coach obviously notices this, too, who now settled accounts with his team after the disappointing draw.

I don’t think we lack character, but what was obvious in some phases of the game is that we were second-rate in terms of physicality. Whenever there was physical contact, too often we were second best. That is something we have to do better for the rest of this season, but even more so for next season,” Rangnick enthused about the physical weakness of his stars.

However, the former Leipzig coach will no longer be on the sidelines at Manchester next season. From the summer onwards, he will also be able to influence squad planning as an advisor to the club. The 63-year-old will also have a say in his successor.

Arch-enemy Liverpool as role model

And Rangnick already has a precise plan for what to look out for in the upcoming squad planning: “Whenever the new head coach is decided, it has to be: How does he want to play and which players do we need for that? Then we come back to the DNA, to speed, physicality, tempo. What do we need? This team doesn’t lack technical players, but it could use more physicality.”

Current Ajax coach Erik ten Hag is still considered the favourite for the United coaching job. However, Rangnick says it is clear that even with a new coach, a return to Europe’s elite class cannot be expected immediately. He makes this clear with two examples.

Manchester City and Liverpool were built up and recruited together over a period of five or six years – all on the premise of how the coaches wanted to play. I told the board that this is exactly what has to happen,” the German coach explained. It is not rocket science. However, one would definitely have to reckon with two to three transfer windows until the desired effect would occur.

One can only encourage the United fans. Apparently, they will have to wait a little longer for their team’s international successes.