“I agree we never came near to that aggressive, pro-active football,” explained Ralf Rangnick in his final press conference as the interim Manchester United boss.
“That has to do with physicality if we want to play like that. I’m more than self-critical. I should have done better.
“I expected that me and my coaching staff could have developed this team in a more sustainable kind of way.”
Rangnick continued: “We couldn’t and it’s not only the players who should be blamed, it should be ourselves. I am the one who is most disappointed about that and frustrated about that.
“At one stage we just had to find compromises – attacking a little bit deeper, how can we make sure that we get our offensive players into their positions?
“Cristiano [Ronaldo] scored a few goals but, again, Cristiano – and I’m not blaming him at all, he did great in those games – but he’s not a pressing monster.
“He’s not a player – even when he was a young player – who was crying, shouting ‘hooray, the other team has got the ball, where can we win balls?’
“And the same with quite a few other players so we had to make some compromises at one stage, maybe we made a few too many – that’s also possible.
“We never found the right balance between what do we need with the ball and without the ball. Even in possession of the ball, we didn’t create as many chances as we should have done.”
The physicality – or rather, the lack of it – of the squad has been criticized time and again. There is a growing notion that most of the players are not physically fit to press throughout the 90 minutes.
That said, Ronaldo, 37, has ended the disastrous season as our top scorer with 24 goals across competitions. He deserves more credit surely.
Rangnick will manage United for his final game against Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park later this Sunday before handing over the reins to Erik ten Hag.