Former Manchester United midfielder Luke Chadwick has spoken exclusively to CaughtOffside about his old club’s upcoming clash with Newcastle United.
The Red Devils will finally be back in action on Monday the 27th of December after having a few games cancelled due to high Covid-19 cases in their camp, but for the time being the festive football fixtures are looking set to go ahead as normal.
It remains to be seen if this extended break will help or hinder Man Utd, but Chadwick expects there’s a chance that new interim manager Ralf Rangnick could benefit from this extra time to work with his squad.
The German tactician has only taken charge of three matches so far, winning two out of two in the Premier League, but the performances have not quite been there yet for the new man at the helm, so a little extra time to settle in and discuss his ideas with the players could be a positive.
“If he has had the opportunity to get the majority of the squad out for training, it could be really beneficial for him,” Chadwick said. “He’s trying something new, trying to change the style of play at the club. Maybe he’s had the chance to speak one-on-one with players, whether it’s on the phone or whatever.
“I think certainly it could give him time to settle in a bit, though it’s also nice to be able to keep playing games when you are winning. The performances haven’t maybe been exactly what he’s looking for, but two 1-0 wins and clean sheets.
“There’s bound to be pros and cons to having this little break, and hopefully he’s taken the chance to further implement his ideas and his style of play and we’ll see that even more when they come back for the next game.”
Chadwick is also impressed with Newcastle’s improvement under new manager Eddie Howe, with Allan Saint-Maximin singled out as the danger-man in their squad.
Still, he also told CaughtOffside that he expected United are the favourites for this game and that the Magpies generally look like facing a fight to stay in the Premier League despite their recent takeover.
“They look like they’re playing with more identity, there’s a lot more pace and directness. Their main man Saint-Maximin is a huge talent, he’s not always got that end product but he can really stretch a defence with his movement. He’s someone United have to keep an eye on,” Chadwick said.
“I think Eddie Howe is taking on a really tough job, and he’ll know that. He’s improved the performances, but the results, not so much. They’re in a situation this January where it’s going to be really difficult for them to attract the players they want, even with the finances they’ve got. It’s going to be very difficult for Howe to keep them out of the relegation zone.
“From United’s point of view it’s an opportunity to get another three points, and hopefully make it three out of three for the manager. Every Premier League game’s a challenge, but if United want to get back to their former glories then this is the kind of game you’d expect them to win.”
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