A club like Manchester United should really have ambitions to finish champions of England. Even the most die hard of fans can now right off their title chances now, 21 points off leaders, their erstwhile”noisy neighbors” City. A great result away at Brentford showed the season can still be salvaged. A follow up win here against fellow champions league chasing West Ham would be just the tonic. Part of the reason why United lost their way in the last 8 years has been the managerial switches and loss of identity. Rangnick, their sixth manager in that time, aims to solve the later. The famed pressing game was better in this game and the control in midfield as well. Fred held on to the ball better and started attacks efficiently. The only problem I have with the Brazilian bis that he doesn’t do it consistently enough. Ralf has seen that probably why he has reportedly looked elsewhere with the likes of John McGinn, Milenkovic-Savic linked with a move to Old Trafford. West Ham are no slouches you can guarantee that. They have been strong against teams chasing champions league soccer. The main reason is the form of captain Declan Rice. He is the engine that makes them tick and was impressive here against United. Jarred Bowen is another player who is on form for the hammers, his pace constantly troubling Maguire in the United defense.
It was Bowen with the best chance to break the deadlock with the game edging towards the end , last five minutes or so. His shot with the right foot landing on the side netting. What is the one way of getting a response from your best players if you are a coach? Show them that you have got an alternative, a very good one to them . That is Ralf in selecting Elanga, the Swedish youngster ahead of Rashford and Martiale. Elanga works hard without the ball, if he loses it he wants it back urgently. He is not a bad finisher as he showed at Brentford. He faded though in the second half , enter Rashford the match winner. Martial who reportedly doesn’t want to done the red devils jersey came on and had an assist to the goal. Was Cavani offside when he received the ball? It’s up there. United will be glad for the three points though in a match they struggled to test Areola in the West Ham goal. Same can be said of West Ham challenging David De Gea. United are up to 4th for the first time since Ole departed although to be a real buzz kill Spurs and Arsenal have games in hand. Have United at last found a way to become competitive again? I think so.