Manchester United Coach Describes What He Expects From The Full-Backs
Ralf Rangnick, the interim manager of Manchester United, has highlighted the tasks and responsibilities that he expects his full-backs to take on, referring to them as “attack defenders.”
It’s a position that appears to be on the rise in the contemporary game, with defenders on the left and right sides wielding increasing amounts of power at both ends of the field.
Since Rangnick’s arrival at the club in December, full-backs have been an important part of United’s system.
Under the German, Aaron Wan-Bissaka and Diogo Dalot have both played on the right side of defence, while Alex Telles and Luke Shaw have played on the opposite side of the backline in recent months.
With that quartet of players all expected to be available for Friday night’s Emirates FA Cup encounter against Middlesbrough, it will be interesting to see who gets the nod in those places, but our interim boss has spoken about what he expects from whoever plays in those positions.
“They have to be defenders while also providing as much contribution as they possibly can if we have the ball,” Rangnick stated during his pre-game press conference on Thursday afternoon.
“They should be offensive fullbacks and offensive defenders,” says the coach. I believe we have made progress in those areas in the last few weeks.
“It will also be a key position for Middlesbrough in tomorrow’s game since they will play in a back five with very offensive wing-backs, at times even with five or six offensive players in the opposition’s half.”
“As a result, it will be critical that we play strategically at a high level in terms of our own full-backs.”
Despite not committing his colours to the mast as to who will start at right-back and left-back for us on Friday evening, Ralf did suggest that Shaw will be given the nod in the latter of those two positions upon his return from injury, owing to Telles’ recent international duty with Brazil.
Our no.27 spent the entire Selecao’s World Cup qualifying win over Paraguay – which began in the early hours of Wednesday morning UK time – on the training pitch with the rest of the Reds group, and will have had limited time on the pitch with the rest of the Reds group ahead of the fourth-round tie.
“Luke will be back, and he’ll probably start right away because Alex Telles only returned last night after playing 90 minutes for Brazil on Wednesday.”
“However, what I’d like to see is [both full-backs] playing almost like wingers while yet being modern defenders, winning one-on-one duels and swapping sides when we have to mark.”
“This is what we want to see from our fullbacks, and this is what I expect from them.”