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Gary Neville disagrees with Ralf Rangnick’s opinion on Man Utd stars after Newcastle draw

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Manchester United interim coach Ralf Rangnick has insisted “mistakes”, not body language issues, were the reasons behind his team’s poor performance in the 1-1 draw with NewcastleUnited.

The Red Devils claimed a share of the spoils at St James’ Park after a disappointing overall performance, paying the price for a poor first-half display as they went into the interval a goal down.

Allan Saint-Maximin wreaked havoc throughout, pulling Raphael Varane out of position and turning inside Harry Maguire to open the scoring with a sublime curling effort.

The Magpies had multiple opportunities to double their advantage only to find David de Gea in the way, with the Spaniard making a string of superb saves.

Senior players such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes were very rarely involved in the game and had little impact off it either, but both lasted the full 90 minutes.

The pair were spotted complaining about their team-mates when losing possession and throwing their arms up in the air in frustration.

But Rangnick, 63, was more keen to focus on how his side failed to control game rather than highlight the apparent lack of unity in his side.

But Rangnick, 63, was more keen to focus on how his side failed to control game rather than highlight the apparent lack of unity in his side.

“I don’t think body language was our biggest problem today,” Rangnick told Sky Sports after the game.

“Our biggest problem was the mistakes we made.

“Even when we scored the equaliser we were not really controlling the game and taking the wrong decisions.

“It’s all about energy, physicality and who wins the second balls. In all those areas we weren’t at our best.

“The good thing is we got a point but the performance needs to be better.”

But Neville, who hit out at Ronaldo and Fernandes for their behaviour on the pitch disagreed with Rangnick’s assessment of the match on Monday night.

The Man United legend blasted Ronaldo for failing to recognise the fans at the final whistle, instead running down the tunnel, while also picking out Fernandes for “whingeing” during the match.

“I said it after the Everton game earlier on in the season when Cristiano walked off and I thought it put pressure on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. He’s run off again tonight,” Neville said on Sky Sports’ Monday Night Football.

“He ran off at Watford when the manager was going to get sacked and everyone knew he was going to get sacked… and at Norwich.

“[Ronaldo and] Bruno, those are the two senior players in that dressing room. It’s devastating for the young players if the two best players in the team are looking at the others as if they’re not good enough.

“Cavani takes that away because I don’t think he wilts in the presence of Ronaldo or a Fernandes.

“He stands up to them and helps the other younger players on the pitch. He needs to be on the pitch.

“They need to rid of that whingey attitude, they really do. You’ve hot to go and clap the fans at the end of the game.

“I don’t care how you’ve played, I don’t care what the result is, get over to them fans and clap them.

“You have to do that, particularly when you’re the best player in the world and one of the best of all time.”

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Glazers make stance clear to Ralf Rangnick amid Man Utd dressing room crisis

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Manchester United are facing a dressing room crisis – but the January transfer window means changes could be afoot.

The Mirror understands that up to 11 players are keen to leave United having grown disillusioned with life at the club.

A Ralf Rangnick facing a fractured group after Monday’s defeat to Wolves.

A source said: “It’s not good. The atmosphere is really bad and it looks like there are going to be big problems ahead for United.”

Despite the difficulties being faced, owners the Glazers are believed to have made their stance clear to Rangnick – by telling him he will have funds available.

Whilst all eyes are on potential outgoings at Old Trafford in January, The Times report that Rangnick has been told by the club that if he wishes to make signings, he will be backed.

With Rangnick’s deal with United including an additional two years in a consultancy role, his first transfer window could give an intriguing insight into his long-term plans.

RB Leipzig midfielder Amadou Haidara could be the first in the door in a £33million swoop with Rangnick already entering talks with his representatives last month.

A move for the Mali international, who has a buyout clause that could be activated in the summer, would signal United’s intent to back Rangnick.

Various other players have been linked with a move to Old Trafford, whilst funds could be bolstered by high-profile exits.

Rangnick is understood to be happy to let Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard leave the club if acceptable offers are received, although he is keen to keep Donny van de Beek and Dean Henderson at the club.

Young defender Axel Tuanzebe, meanwhile, is closing on in a loan move to Napoli which will net the Red Devils a further transfer windfall.

According to the Daily Mail, the Serie A club have agreed to pay United a £500,000 loan fee, as well as a further £333,000 if they reach the Champions League.

A further payment of £165,000 could also be paid if Tuanzebe makes a certain amount of appearances having cut short his stint at Aston Villa to head to Italy.

Juan Mata and Phil Jones are two more players who could depart to make Rangnick’s squad more manageable.

Jones’ successful return against Wolves after almost two years out of the line-up will help his chances of finding a new club in January after his injury nightmare.

 

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Phil Jones’ emotional reaction after making his shock Manchester United return caught on camera

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Phil Jones was left visibly emotional after walking off following his surprise start for Manchester United in their defeat against Wolves earlier this week.

Centre back Jones lined up from the off for his club for the first time in 708 days after being named in the starting XI, and impressed at Old Trafford.

Having made several clearances and delivered an assured showing, he was treated to a warm response from supporters while heading down the tunnel at full-time.

A milestone that’s been 712 days in the making.

It meant so much to Phil ❤️#MUFC pic.twitter.com/Kd7H7fyedE

— Manchester United (@ManUtd) January 4, 2022

And a video posted on United’s official Twitter account has revealed how the defender was seemingly overwhelmed by his comeback.

With his head initially bowed, Jones headed off the field in the corner of the stadium, but acknowledged the appreciation sent his way by clapping the crowd.

He also tapped the badge several times, showing his commitment to the Red Devils.

Before featuring against Wolves, Jones last started a match in United’s 6-1 win over Tranmere in the FA Cup in January 2020, having sustained a long-term knee injury.

After being ruled out for almost two years, the former Blackburn man described his time out as the ‘lowest of his life’, and built up his fitness behind closed doors.

Rio Ferdinand, a former United stalwart, heaped praise on Jones’ recent showing.

‘For someone to come in from the cold like that, you have to tip your hat to someone like that,’ Ferdinand said on Five, his official YouTube channel.

‘They’re playing him maybe to put him in the shop window, first and foremost, but if he plays well enough the manager might change his mind. That can happen in football very quickly.

I’m just pleased he got through the game unscathed, no injuries. He put in a decent performance after such a long time out, not easy to do. So you’ve got to tilt your hat to Phil Jones.

‘He’s come in for a lot of stick, a lot of my words have been misinterpreted a little bit.

‘But you’ve got to say, “well done” in terms of the amount of time he’s been off the pitch, to come in and play in the Premier League and play at the standard he did today.

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Cristiano Ronaldo’s intention for dinner with Lionel Messi has been watched over 50 MILLION

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The clip of Cristiano Ronaldo’s intention to have dinner with fierce long-time rival Lionel Messi has been watched more than 50 million times.

Two of the greatest footballers of all time were sat side by side for the Champions League draw in Monaco two years ago.

Manchester United star Ronaldo, who was spearheading Juventus’ attack at the time, joked he hopes one day he can sit down and enjoy dinner with Messi.

‘I was curious because we shared this stage for 15 years me and him,’ Ronaldo said.

‘I don’t know if that has ever happened in football, the same two guys on the stage at the same time, so it’s not easy.

‘Of course we have a good relationship, we have not had dinner together yet but I hope in the future.’

Both Messi and Ronaldo had five Ballon d’Ors to their names when seen in deep conversation in France in 2019.

The Argentine star is now two ahead of the Portuguese after making history by winning his seventh gong last month.

Ronaldo and Messi were sat next to each other as both were nominated for the UEFA Player of the Season, alongside eventual winner Liverpool defender Virgil van Dijk.

The pair could be reunited at the Best FIFA Men’s Player award on January 17 as they’re both included in the 11-player shortlist for the gong.

Liverpool’s Mohamed Salah, Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne, Chelsea duo Jorginho and N’Golo Kante, Paris Saint-Germain forwards Neymar and Kylian Mbappe, last year’s winner Robert Lewandowski, Borussia Dortmund talisman Erling Haaland and Real Madrid striker Karim Benzema complete the line-up.

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