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Gary Neville questions if Manchester United can persist with Ralf Rangnick's preferred 4-2-2-2 setup

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Gary Neville questions whether Manchester United can persist with Ralf Rangnick’s preferred 4-2-2-2 system, claiming they may have to abandon it in future because ‘I don’t know any team in Europe that plays this system really well’

  • Gary Neville has queried whether Manchester United can stick with their setup 
  • The Red Devils typically play in Ralf Rangnick’s preferred 4-2-2-2 formation 
  • But iconic former defender Neville cast doubt on the feasibility of the system 


Gary Neville has cast doubt on Manchester United’s ability to continue playing manager Ralf Rangnick’s preferred 4-2-2-2 system. 

Rangnick, appointed in late November, has won both of his Premier League games to date 1-0 against Crystal Palace and Norwich, but his side struggled to create chances in attack and at times looked vulnerable in defence. 

And iconic former defender Neville admitted the German may soon be forced to change the tactical set-up to get the most out of his players. 

He said: ‘The problem with this system is twofold. One is that ultimately you don’t have the balance at times. When you’re defending, you actually become a 4-4-2. The issue you’ve got is you’ve got to have a partner for Ronaldo. 

‘It will be interesting to see him ditch the system he’s played (in his first two games) – I don’t know any team in Europe that plays this system really well. It’s a massive ask on the full-backs. 

‘As a full-back you’re expected to go up the field and be the width of the team but also to have little protection for large parts of the game. With a bit more quality, Norwich would have exploited them. It’s a big ask on Dalot and Telles, can they do it defensively if they’re exposed against decent teams? I don’t quite see it. 

‘He may change, whether it’s tonight (Monday) I’m not sure but eventually it’ll come because I don’t see another top team doing it. I’m not sure about the system personally.’

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