Football News

“It doesn’t make sense” — Ralf Rangnick plunges Harry Maguire’s Man Utd captaincy into doubt

By Ben Green

Published: 9:45, 28 April 2022

Current Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick has cast uncertainty over Harry Maguire’s captaincy at the club.

The 29-year-old has been under increasing pressure this season following a string of below-average performances in a chaotic campaign for the club.

As a result Maguire’s armband has been thoroughly scrutinised, particularly as some have questioned his position in the starting XI.

Football’s most expensive defender succeeded Ashley Young as Man Utd skipper in January 2020 following the repurposed full-back’s transfer to Inter Milan.

Man United odds (2022-23 season)  Sky Bet
Premier League winner 22/1
Finish in the top four 1/1
Top half finish 1/10
Bottom half finish 11/2
Relegation 500/1
You have to be 18+ to gamble. UK only. All odds in the table above are accurate at the time of writing (07:45, 07/05/2022). BeGambleAware.

However, Rangnick, who will step down at the end of this current campaign for Erik Ten Hag, has now plunged Maguire’s future captaincy status into major doubt.

When asked whether he would recommend Maguire for the armband to Ten Hag, Rangnick responded: “I understand your question but again it doesn’t make sense because we don’t know what kind of players will be here, what the group will look like.

“I can only tell you what I have done in the past when I was head coach or manager because in Germany it’s called ‘Mannschaftskapitan’ — the captain of the team.

“I strongly believe the captain should be elected by the team because he’s called the team manager and we always did that, we always had a board of four or five players.

“We called it the ‘Spielerrat’ [players’ council] — elected by the players.

“The player with the highest amount of votes was the team captain at the end. That was how I did it.

“I know a lot of head coaches don’t do it that way. That’s what I would do if I was still the manager next season but in the end I’m not. This is something that Erik will have to decide.”

Rangnick has just two games remaining in which he will see his side take to Old Trafford, one of which comes on Thursday night as Man Utd play host to Chelsea, looking to either keep their exceptionally faint top-four hopes alive, or consolidate a position in the top six.

By and large, Rangnick’s appointment will be looked at through an underwhelming lens, given that silverware has eluded the club once again and Man Utd have really struggled to put together a run of consistent performances across his short tenure — but it has not been for the want of trying.

“I think I’ve tried everything I can but that does not necessarily mean that we did everything right,” Rangnick said. “Everybody has to question himself, the staff, the players and myself, what could we have done better in the past?

“This is part of our job. Everybody has to be self-critical enough to do that. But as I said, until four or five weeks ago, we still had all the chances to qualify for Champions League but the results in the last four games were not as good as we hoped for.”

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