Newly appointed manager Erik Ten Hag will be in attendance when Manchester United travel to Crystal Palace on Championship Sunday. He’ll be hands off though, and let Ralf Rangnick finish out his disastrous tenure. It’s time to finally put this horror show of a season to bed, and with that in mind, who knows what kind of effort we’re going to get from United here.
Under Rangnick, they often looked like a team with “senioritis,” the condition one has when they’re about to graduate high school, are already accepted into their desired college, and know their grades don’t mean anything anymore. Yes, it’s a very long way of saying someone is extremely disinterested.
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Maybe United will end up “giving it the ol’ college try” though given the triple fitness boost they got this week. Luke Shaw, Jadon Sancho and Marcus Rashford all returned to training in midweek, and that means the trio could all be in contention to play, if not start against Palace.
Rashford missed out against Brighton due to bronchitis, and really anyone who missed that disaster has to be considered fortunate.
Rashford has had an awful season, and he’ll look to try and finish it on a more positive note. Sancho, it was thought, was shut down for the season due to tonsillitis. It was also believed that Luke Shaw wouldn’t be back, due to another leg injury, but apparently, he could feature. He hasn’t played since early April.
One guy who won’t is Paul Pogba, who still has a calf injury, the party line goes. We’re still not totally convinced about that, given the way he exited in the disaster at Liverpool.
Paul M. Banks is the owner/manager of The Bank (TheSportsBank.Net) and author of “Transatlantic Passage: How the English Premier League Redefined Soccer in America,” as well as “No, I Can’t Get You Free Tickets: Lessons Learned From a Life in the Sports Media Industry.”
He has regularly appeared in WGN, Sports Illustrated and the Chicago Tribune, and he co-hosts the After Extra Time podcast, part of Edge of the Crowd Network. Follow him on Twitter and Instagram.
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