Football NewsAccording to statistics, Ralf Rangnick has barely improved in Manchester United
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When Ralf Rangnick took over as Manchester United’s interim manager last November, Gary Neville tweeted, “A contract for six months to coach the team, a contract for two years to coach the club.”

Is he the ideal man to coach this United team and rebuild United as a club after 13 games? Surprisingly, it only took 10 Premier League games for someone to advocate for Rangnick’s dismissal.

Rangnick should be fired, according to Paul Merson, Neville’s fellow commentator, who added that the German should not even transfer to the consultant post at the end of the season as planned.

United were held to a 1-1 draw by Southampton on Saturday, putting their hopes of finishing in the top four and qualifying for the Champions League next season in jeopardy. The league rankings don’t appear to be too awful at first glance, with United in fifth place and a point behind fourth-placed West Ham with a game in hand. But the Red Devils are worried.

Arsenal, in sixth place, is a point behind with two games remaining, and Wolves and Tottenham are also in contention. Wolves have a game in hand after beating Spurs at the weekend, and Antonio Conte’s side can potentially catch United if they win their two remaining games.

Rangnick’s impact is at a fork in the road. But United’s trend feels downward after losing in the FA Cup to Middlesbrough and then drawing league games against Burnley and Southampton that they were expected to win.

One thing that has clearly altered under the German is the strengthening of United’s defense. United have surrendered 10 times in Rangnick’s 13 games so far, and 26 times in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s last 13 games.

They’ve also faced less shots than they did under Solskjaer, with 156 compared to 184. Rangnick averages 1.9 points per game for United, while the Norwegian averages 1.8.

Most new coaches, especially those who take over in the middle of the season, start from the ground up. However, United’s defensive problems haven’t been fixed, with fans clamoring for Harry Maguire to be withdrawn and for Rangnick to test Victor Lindelof alongside Raphael Varane.

Rangnick will have to make a choice before United’s encounter against Brighton on Tuesday, which they are expected to win.

 But, aside from the Maguire conundrum, Rangnick’s redeeming quality at this point in his brief United tenure is a stronger defense. They’ve scored the same number of goals (17) as United in Solskjaer’s last 13 games, and that’s where things need to change immediately.

Rangnick has also made somewhat more passes than Solskjaer (6,905 vs. 6,701) and took slightly more shots (203 vs. 190) than Solskjaer.

However, the numbers aren’t converting into the form improvement that United so needs.

After hosting Brighton in midweek, they go to Elland Road to face bitter rivals Leeds before focusing on the Champions League.