Another lacklustre performance from Manchester United under Ralf Rangnick, with the much-spoken about control completely missing from the game.
United crawled to a 1-0 win over Aston Villa on Monday night to progress to the FA Cup fourth round thanks to an early Scott McTominay header.
Villa were the dominant side on the night though, having two goals disallowed by VAR and missing a host of other chances throughout the 90 minutes as United failed to contain them.
Manager Rangnick once again opted for the ‘McFred’ duo in midfield and it started well with Brazilian whipping in a brilliant cross for the Scot to head home the opening goal.
But as the game went on it was clear that the ‘control’ Rangnick so often speaks about was once again missing, as Steven Gerrard’s side repeatedly walked through the middle of the pitch to create chances.
Somehow McTominay was given the man of the match award by BBC commentator Dion Dublin, but his performance was pretty poor even by his own standards.
Donny Van de Beek was brought on to the pitch with around 20 minutes to go as Rangnick changed the system to try and gain some control, and they stemmed the flow of the game in order to see out their victory.
It raised yet another question about the Dutchman’s chances in the side, with just one start to his name since the German’s arrival at the club.
When the team sheet was announced, fans immediately reacted negatively to the fact that he wasn’t in the side.
It seemed as though despite his obvious qualities on the ball in a position that the team are at their weakest, something is happening behind the scenes that means he isn’t being picked.
He wasn’t being called upon if the team were winning, losing or drawing, if performances were good or bad or even if the team was being rotated. So what is the point of him being here.
Add to that the fact that the midfield area is consistently underperforming in their duties on the pitch, and surely he is due a chance?
Rangnick praised the control that Van de Beek brought to the midfield at the end of the game so surely now it’s worth giving him a run in the team?
He can’t be any worse than the current options and if he performs badly, then at least there is a reason for him to not be playing.
The same can be said for Jesse Lingard in the attacking positions, with all of the attackers underperforming and yet someone who has all the attributes that Rangnick waxes lyrical about is sitting on the bench struggling for minutes.
McTominay is suspended for the weekend which would provide another golden opportunity for Van de Beek to get in the team and show if he can provide what nobody else seems to be able to.
If he can’t, then there is literally no point in him being part of the squad and Rangnick should just allow him to leave during the January window.