Ramsay reportedly getting less time to work on set pieces under Rangnick
Manchester United have still not scored from a corner this season.
That would be a damning enough statistic on its own, given United have had 117 attempts this term.
But, during the summer, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer brought in a set piece coach, in the shape of Eric Ramsay.
Last month, we highlighted that Ramsay has failed deliver improvements from the dead ball as United are now the league’s least dangerous side from set pieces.
But a report by the Athletic has shed some light on Ramsay’s specific role in United’s set pieces.
They say that Ramsay had not worked as a specialist set piece coach before coming to Old Trafford, so it is not as if he arrived with a truckload of innovative routines to allow United to get goals from those situations.
Ramsay has been asked to focus on United’s attacking set plays, with goalkeeping coaches Richard Hartis and Craig Mawson helping with work when defending them.
Under Solskjaer, the man who brought him in, they say Ramsay often got half an hour to work on attacking set pieces with the team after a session.
But since Rangnick’s arrival, and the departure of Michael Carrick, Kieran McKenna and Martyn Pert from the coaching team, Ramsay’s time to work on set pieces has been cut down.
He has also had to take on extra coaching tasks. An example provided is warming up the defenders pre-match, with is something McKenna used to do before taking on the role of Ipswich manager.
Either way, it’s not working very well
Perhaps United hired someone in a specialist role who is not a specialist; according to the Athletic he certainly had no experience of working specifically on set pieces before.
Maybe he needs more time to work on his ideas. That may mean on the training ground to work with the players or in his own working day to get routines together.
Either way, it is not working. United made an appointment to work on a weakness and it got worse, not better.
United now have a substantial break until the next game and it is to be hoped that they can find more time to work on set plays.
Those situations can break open tight games, which could make the difference to a squad which is improving but still lacking confidence and looking unlikely to blow opponents away with pace and creativity on a regular basis.
It is not all completely Ramsay’s fault. The report says nobody has taken more United corners than Luke Shaw this term and his set piece combination with Harry Maguire is potent.
There is no reason it should be any less effective for United, but that is the current reality of the situation.
Last season United managed to score seven goals from set plays, the joint 12th highest in the Premier League. There needs to be a dramatic improvement to even catch this number this season and Ramsay has to play his part.
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