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Man Utd’s Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard mistakes pose important lesson for Richard Arnold

Richard Arnold will replace Ed Woodward as Manchester United’s vice-chairman, and the incoming supremo must learn from Woodward’s mistakes with Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard

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Ralf Rangnick reflects on Wolves defeat

Ed Woodward’sManchester United reign is over.

He leaves behind a 17-strong queue of unhappy players desperate to follow him out of the Old Trafford exit door, a United side seventh in the Premier League, and an interim manager, soon to be consultant director of football, who is already under huge pressure.

Woodward’s departure is not an ushering of a golden future, but one of immense uncertainty. For Ralf Rangnick. For the in-coming Richard Arnold. For everybody affiliated with the club.

Questions are already being asked of Rangnick’s philosophy and tactics, after a limp 1-0 home defeat to Wolves.

Having begun the season with the additions of Jadon Sancho, Raphael Varane, and Cristiano Ronaldo, United looked to have reformed into the predators of the Sir Alex Ferguson era – now they are a whopping 22-points behind Manchester City.

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Richard Arnold has been named as Manchester United’s new vice-chairman

Rangnick will oversee this United side until the end of the season, and, providing there are no dramatic decisions from new vice-chairman Richard Arnold, will be entrusted with overhauling footballing matters on a consultancy basis.

Even if the former RB Leipzig manager steers United into the 2022-23 season and remains in the boardroom for another two seasons, the Reds could still be feeling the ramifications of Woodward’s final years in charge.

The Mirror revealed eleven United players were looking for an Old Trafford exit, before the Daily Mail reported a further six were considering an exit.

Paul Pogba, Jesse Lingard, Anthony Martial, Edinson Cavani, Juan Mata, Donny van de Beek, Dean Henderson, Eric Bailly, Phil Jones, Nemanja Matic, Fred, Diogo Dalot, and Axel Tuanzebe are 13 of the 17 players understood to have grown disillusioned.

A further four dissatisfied stars are believed to be plotting their next moves – United fans will be petrified as to who they could be.

Rangnick and Arnold have an ominous rebuild on their hands, but new foundations cannot be laid until they analyse where it all went so wrong.

Ed Woodward’s eight year reign at the club is finally over



During Woodward’s final reign, there were too many whispers, too many rumours, and not enough decisions.

Cristiano Ronaldo’s spectacular return to Old Trafford clouded over the drama of Paul Pogba’s uncertainty and the uncertainty of United top stars.

The Frenchman’s contract has ran down to the point he is now free to negotiate pre-contract agreements with various clubs, while still collecting his astronomical wages at Old Trafford.

Jesse Lingard’s loan move to West Ham United appeared to be a genius piece of business from United, who appeared destined to cash in on the England international, with his stock at its highest and a plethora of quality players already in place.

Pogba is currently free to negotiate a pre-contract with another club


Getty Images)

Yet a transfer fee was not accepted, and the 28-year-old’s contract is also set to expire at the end of their season.

Both players are spearheading the dissatisfied group of wantaway stars instead of the United frontline, posing a conundrum for both Rangnick and Arnold.

The interim United boss and the in-coming Vice Chairman will likely assess and confront the situation at the end of the season, but the mistakes of the outgoing chairman must be learned.

Phil Jones’ positive performance in his first Manchester United match since January 2020 was a bright light in an ominously dark game for the club.

Jesse Lingard is yet to make a Premier League appearance for Ralf Rangnick

Yet the fact that the player Ferguson once touted as one day becoming “United’s best ever player” is still contracted to remain with the club until 2023 is a mystery.

Jones was pushed even further down the pecking order at United when Harry Maguire arrived in the summer of 2019, but he was handed a new four-year contract a matter of months before Maguire’s record-breaking arrival.

He was stuck behind Eric Bailly and Victor Lindelof before the England international’s arrival, yet Woodward decided to make his place for the next four years was with United.

Arnold and Rangnick must ensure these mistakes are not made and the January transfer window could be the perfect opportunity to begin the rebuild.

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