EPL

De Gea: Man Utd are not good enough

By Sports Desk April 09, 2022

David de Gea issued a damning assessment of Manchester United's quality and acknowledged it will be "very difficult" for them to finish in the top four. 

United succumbed to a surprise 1-0 loss to relegation-threatened Everton at Goodison Park on Saturday, with Anthony Gordon's deflected strike proving to be the difference. 

Ralf Rangnick has now triumphed in just eight of his first 17 Premier League games as the Red Devils' boss, giving him a win percentage of 47% – the worst of any manager the club has had in the competition. 

It was United's eighth defeat of the season – only the eighth time they have lost that many games in a single campaign but the sixth since 2012-13. 

They could find themselves six points adrift of the top four by the end of the weekend, with De Gea admitting they lack the requisite quality to qualify for next season's Champions League. 

"We knew before today they were struggling and how difficult it was going to be," De Gea told BT Sport. 

"We don't score, we don't even create proper chances to score. I don't know what to say, to be honest. We're not good enough, that's for sure. It's going to be very difficult now to be in the top four. 

"Of course, it's not the perfect atmosphere. They were tired, they were nervous, but they keep going and keep fighting. They had more desire than us, which is not acceptable. It's very sad to lose today." 

Rangnick will move into a consulting role at Old Trafford at the conclusion of the season, with Ajax boss Erik ten Hag reported to be the frontrunner to take over. 

Mauricio Pochettino has also been linked with the role, but Rangnick does not believe the uncertainty can be used to excuse a dismal run of one win in seven in all competitions. 

"I don't think this should be an excuse. We are Manchester United. We have lots of international players. There shouldn't be an alibi," Rangnick said. 

"There will be a new manager next season. If this is announced now or in 10 days, it shouldn't have an impact." 

He added: "If you don't score a single goal in 95 minutes, we have to be disappointed. We had a good start and should have created more chances out of that domination. Then we concede a deflected shot and lost a bit of our composure. 

"The second half we were trying to add creativity with substitutions, but we didn't always take the right decision. 

"We had to do something. We needed a goal and we decided to bring on [Juan] Mata and more verticality with [Anthony] Elanga. 

"They were defending with their players in the last 35 minutes. We didn't find the right player at the right moment. We didn't have enough players in the box when we played crosses." 

Related items

  • Charlotte boss Dean Smith still driven by determination to ‘prove people wrong’ Charlotte boss Dean Smith still driven by determination to ‘prove people wrong’

    Dean Smith wants to defy the doubters after rejecting opportunities to coach in the Championship to start a new chapter with ambitious Major League Soccer side Charlotte FC.

    The 52-year-old returned to management in December, having just fallen short in his attempt to keep Leicester up during a short spell in the hot seat at the end of last season.

    Smith takes charge of his first competitive match since the Foxes’ final Premier League game when Charlotte host New York City FC in their MLS opener this weekend.

    The former Aston Villa boss beat England great Frank Lampard to the job and more than 60,000 will be at Bank of America Stadium for his first game in the dugout.

    “I’d spoken to a few clubs in the UK, mainly Championship clubs,” Smith told the PA news agency.

    “None of them felt quite right for me, so it was all about what the next opportunity was going to be.

    “When this came about and I got asked if I wanted to join in the process, I just thought it’d be a challenge, it’d be exciting.

    “It would get the juices flowing again, so to speak, because it’s something that I’ve not done before, never been out of the UK to coach and I thought it’d be really good challenge.”

    View this post on Instagram

    A post shared by Charlotte FC (@charlottefc)

    Smith joins a club entering their third MLS season, with former Premier League players Ashley Westwood and Scott Arfield among those in Charlotte’s squad.

    Leicester fan favourite Christian Fuchs serves as one of his assistants, having retired in North Carolina and joined the coaching staff after skippering the team during their first campaign.

    Smith joins them in Charlotte with a determination to help the team grow and improve on last season’s wildcard defeat at the start of the MLS play-offs.

    “I think one of my drivers has always been to prove people wrong and try and get to that next level all the time,” the former Norwich, Brentford and Walsall manager said.

    “I was fortunate enough to coach Brentford and build a team that Thomas (Frank) eventually took over and ended up getting into the Premier League.

    “But also taking Aston Villa to the Premier League, I’m really proud of that because in 2010, 2011, I was coaching at Walsall, the under-14s, and my daughter was sitting on the side of the pitch doing her homework.

    “So, you know, it’s been hard work to get where I am.”

    Smith’s determination brings hope to Charlotte, who still have room to sprinkle stardust on their side by signing a marquee player over the coming months.

    Put to Smith that Jack Grealish, his skipper at Villa, could do with a few starts right now, he laughed and said: “Yeah, I still speak to Jack very regularly.

    “He’s just coming back from an injury. But he’s not done bad already at Manchester City and he’ll continue to do so, and England in the Euros.

    “But, yes, we’re looking to add some quality into the squad. When I looked at the squad during this process, I just felt that there were areas that we could improve on.”

  • Caoimhin Kelleher happy for a quiet life as Liverpool and Chelsea meet again Caoimhin Kelleher happy for a quiet life as Liverpool and Chelsea meet again

    Liverpool’s 2022 Carabao Cup final hero Caoimhin Kelleher will be more than happy to stay out of the limelight at Wembley.

    The Republic of Ireland international scored what turned out to be the winning spot-kick after a goalless final against Sunday’s opponents Chelsea in an epic shoot-out which finished 11-10 when Kelleher’s opposite number Kepa Arrizabalaga blazed over, the only failure from either side.

    It was fitting for the Irishman, who has been Liverpool’s League Cup goalkeeper for the last few seasons, but he would prefer a quieter afternoon this time around.

    “To be fair, I was just in the moment. I didn’t even realise it was my go and I looked at the lads and they were pointing at me,” said Kelleher.

    “I didn’t have much to think so I just ended up smashing it in.”

    Asked whether he had practised his penalties again he added: “I’ve done bits and bobs but I’m hoping we win it in the 90 minutes. I think it’s easier for the fans.

    “I have great memories from the cup. I think the clear thing will be the penalty, that is a really nice moment.

    “Then after Chelsea missed their penalty, our celebration with the fans and the team was a special moment and one I’ll never forget and hopefully we can recreate something similar on Sunday.

    “It was a good experience to look back on but I’m just trying to focus on getting good results.”

    Kelleher is set for his longest run in the team as first-choice goalkeeper Alisson Becker, who has already missed the last three matches with a hamstring injury, is sidelined until after next month’s international break.

    As back-up the 25-year-old has never played more than three consecutive games for the club but, after a similar run in November and December when Alisson was injured, he now has a chance to play a big part in the quest for silverware as the club continue to fight on four fronts.

    “It can only help having a run of games as it gets you in a good rhythm and it fills me with confidence playing week in, week out,” he added.

    “It’s good for me as I can get that rhythm and that relationship with the team. It can only help.”

    Alisson is one of a significant number of absences, which includes Trent Alexander-Arnold, Diogo Jota and Curtis Jones, with Mohamed Salah, Darwin Nunez and Dominik Szoboszlai facing late fitness tests.

    Liverpool’s midweek win over Luton showed how much their resources were stretched, with three defenders and five academy players on the bench, but assistant manager Pep Lijnders said there would be no excuses made.

    “I think the good thing we always did in the past is look at what we have,” he said.

    “It’s also good in life to just accept what you have and don’t look (at) what you don’t have, so that’s what we are trying to do.

    “It brought us success in the past, so we try to keep that up.

    “This season is a season where we created already three or four new teams in one season – that didn’t happen a lot in the last years.

    “It’s a compliment for our squad, it’s a compliment for the academy.”

  • Cup final officials must be ‘fair’ amid Jurgen Klopp hype – Mauricio Pochettino Cup final officials must be ‘fair’ amid Jurgen Klopp hype – Mauricio Pochettino

    Mauricio Pochettino has urged the match officials not to be swayed by the focus on Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool farewell in Sunday’s Carabao Cup final.

    Klopp will leave Anfield in the summer after almost nine years in charge and Sunday marks this season’s first chance to add to his seven trophies with the club.

    Pochettino insisted his side “want to win because of Chelsea,” rather than being motivated by a desire to spoil Klopp’s farewell.

    But he admitted he was unhappy with refereeing decisions in the recent league meeting between the teams, feeling his side should have had penalties for Virgil van Dijk’s challenges on Conor Gallagher in the first half and Christopher Nkunku in the second.

    In quotes reported by several national newspapers regarding pressure on the outgoing Reds boss, the Argentinian added: “It is not pressure for him. Maybe it is for the people who want to celebrate with Liverpool.

    “We need to be sure we are going to compete and be fair in every decision. At Anfield, I think too many decisions… not one key decision was for us.

    “Two penalties were not given. Duels, 50-50s, always for another colour. Always red. I want to be treated in a fair way.

    “The first decision after five minutes was a clear penalty. In the second half it was a penalty. The pressure is about not delivering the job for Klopp, the pressure is not to be part of the (hype).

    “Of course, we are going to celebrate (Klopp’s reign). I am the first who is going to say that Liverpool is amazing and Klopp is one of the best coaches in the world.

    “But I think after my last experience, what I want in Wembley is to not feel the pressure. It is to play a game at the same level and the best team will win. But not to feel the pressure of people around.”

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.