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5 things about Ralf Rangnick that should excite Manchester United fans

November 30th 2021, 10:50:21 am

The German will be the new face at Manchester United until next summer

Ralf Rangnick

Manchester United on Monday confirmed the appointment of German coach, Ralf Rangnick, as their new manager.

Rangnick will replace the sacked United legend, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, on an interim basis until the summer of 2022 before taking up a consultancy role for two years that will see him help revamp the club and influence the choice of the next permanent manager at the club.

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Rumours of the 63-year-old's imminent appointment had generated a lot of fanfare amongst United fans since it became public knowledge last week as quotes and videos of Rangnick's football expertise and knowledge flooded everywhere and social media.

With the appointment now done and dusted, pending work permit, here are five things from some of his quotes [sourced from The Athletic, Manchester United, Coaches Voice etc] that should really get Manchester United fans excited about their new boss;

"When I started out as sporting director for Red Bull Salzburg and RB Leipzig in 2012, I knew how to approach my new job. We needed to not only focus our attention on winning titles, but also on developing players.


"In order to develop, educate and coach your own team, you need to be sure what kind of football you need to play. That’s what all the top coaches in Europe have in common. They know what their football looks like, they have a video of the perfect game in their heads. The job is to transform that idea of football into the heads, hearts, brains and veins of the players."

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This sounds very interesting, a good departure from what fans became accustomed to under the previous manager, Solskjaer, who fans regularly accused of being clueless and didn't know what he was doing at the club. Rangnick has an idea.

Another big indictment of the Solskjaer era was that for three years, most fans struggled to see or understand United's style of play or what he wanted to do.

But for Rangnick, he believes that the specific DNA, yes that word United fans have come to hate, must be clear, understandable and recognisable by fans even on a bad day.

"The importance of implementing a specific DNA into the club – particularly the style of football we want the team to play. Consistent orientation towards that style in all areas of the club was where we put our emphasis from day one," he told the Coaches Voice.

"The playing style should be highly recognisable – so much so that, even on a bad day, you can still recognise the kind of football that the team wants to play.

By doing that, you create an identity across the whole club. Not only with the players, but also the coaching staff and even the fans."

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Then, on his style of play, Rangnick added;

"It's a very proactive style of football. We like to press high, with a very intense counter-pressure. When we have the ball, we do not like any square or back passes. It is a fast, proactive, attacking, counter-attacking, counter-pressing, exciting and entertaining [style of] football."

Manchester United recently lost 4-1 at the Vicarage Road to a Watford side inspired by the rampant Super Eagles star, Emmanuel Dennis. The Red Devils conceded 20 attempts to the Hornets and that up with another performance last Sunday that saw Chelsea dominate most parts of the game in that 1-1 draw at Stamford Bridge.

But for Rangnick, he had spoken about how his style is similar to Liverpool's Jurgen Klopp and that entails being the dominant team and playing on the front foot most of the time. That's what he wants and knows.

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"You need to dictate the game with and without the ball, not through individuals. Use transitions, switch quickly, to think and find the right solutions quickly and shoot within 10 seconds of winning the ball back."

United fans got tired of Ole constantly talking about DNA without really going into enough details that inspired belief and but Ralf is different. The German can talk about tactics for years and is really interested in improving players on the pitch, which is good news for the likes of Marcus Rashford, Mason Greenwood, Jadon Sancho and other young players at the club.

"Tactics, fitness and rules are all hugely important, but they’re only a means to an end. My job, the job, is to improve players. Players follow you as a manager if they feel that you make them better. That’s the greatest, most sincere motivation there is."

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Personally, have always believed that the biggest problem at Manchester United has been the lack of proper coaching and poor use of players. Rangnick is a coach who loves to spend time improving players and as a seasoned football director as well, he does understand the importance of improving players and their on-the-pitch value.

“You’re kind of born to be a coach. Even at the age of six, playing with 10-year-olds, I wanted to pick the teams, organise the game and show others how they could improve."

"The biggest untapped potential lies in the footballer's brain. We compare[d] our players’ development [at Red Bull] to a 1,000-piece jigsaw. We try to offer all of those 1,000 pieces to every player, and it’s up to them to use them in whatever dimension they want. We try to have all the relevant aspects of football development in our portfolio [and] we want the best possible support staff to develop the players."

There you go, Rangnick has work to do at Old Trafford, make no mistakes about it. But everything points to exciting times ahead for Manchester United fans with the German Professor at the helm and overseeing football decisions at the club for the next two and a half years as an interim boss and then, a consultant.


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Izuchukwu Akawor

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