Rangnick plays it safe after Villa hiccup at Donny van de Beek's expense
Manchester United interim boss Ralf Rangnick ensured his side didn’t capitulate against Brentford in the same manner against Aston Villa by making risk-free substitutions, which meant Donny van de Beek played no part.
With the Reds entering the final 20 minutes two goals to the good at the Brentford Community Stadium, just like we were at Villa Park, the German decided to battle down the hatches.
Much to Cristiano Ronaldo’s dismay, the returning 36-year-old was replaced by club captain Harry Maguire, as we switched to a back three.
After being challenged by the Portuguese for an explanation behind his withdrawal, Rangnick revealed he didn’t want to make the same mistake as what happened in the Midlands.
Speaking about his conversation with Ronaldo, Rangnick told the club’s official website: “The only reaction out of it was that he was asking me, ‘why me? why do you take me off’ and I said, ‘listen, I have to take the decision in the interest of the team’ and we had exactly the same situation five days ago at Villa Park, 2-0 up with 15 minutes to play, and of course we didn’t want to make the same mistake again.”
United were 3-0 up by the time the influential Scott McTominay needed to be replaced after picking up a knock.
But with van de Beek available as an option, the Dutchman was once again overlooked as Rangnick instead preferred the nous and experience of Nemanja Matic.
Thomas Frank’s sided pulled a goal back just seconds after the Serbian had entered the fray, but it was yet another chastening evening for the man who was signed for £35m (BBC Sport) from Ajax.
It’s understandable that Rangnick was concerned about us potentially surrendering a lead once again, but with five minutes to go and with a three goal lead, surely van de Beek can’t mess things up that badly for us.
The 63-year-old clearly doesn’t trust the 24-year-old and this was the latest kick in the teeth for our number 34.
Barring getting some minutes in the FA Cup fourth round tie against Middlesbrough, it would be a surprise to see the Dutch international get given his first Premier League start of the season.
His chances of featuring will only reduce further when Paul Pogba returns in the coming weeks.
With a January departure unlikely to be sanctioned, it could be a long four months for Donny van de Beek.
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