Who Is Ralf Rangnick, The Manager Manchester United Are Set To Appoint?

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There has been a lot of talk in the past five or six days about who will be the interim manager Manchester United will appoint, following Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s departure. Michael Carrick took over the team just for the short period before someone else comes in and now it seems we know who will that be.

Manchester United are set to appoint Ralf Rangnick as their interim manager until the end of the season, with the two-year contract afterwards to stay at the club in a ‘consultancy’ role from 2022 to 2024, Fabrizio Romano reported. Rangnick will get the biggest opportunity in his quite interesting career and he would be interested to take the full-time manager role if he was offered one. The German coach’s rival is expected next week, due to work permit process. But who is Ralf Rangnick after all?

Done Great Stuff In Germany, But With Smaller Clubs

Rangnick is a very well known name in Germany for about 25 years now, ever since he got his small provincial club Ulm 1846 to the Bundesliga 2. He then caught the attention in 1998, when he held a tactical masterclass on live national TV, criticising German tactics overall as outdated. It was then that Rangnick got his nickname ‘Professor’ in a mocking way, because he was ultimately saying the German coaches at the time had outdated ideas that they should probably discard or evolve. When Germany lost 3-0 to Croatia at the 1998 World Cup and went out in the quarterfinals – and then had a horrible Euro 2000 – Rangnick was among the leading coaches that were for big systematic changes. Those big changes at the start of the 21st century would ultimately lead to Germany winning the 2014 World Cup.

The ‘system’ is the word often used for the way Rangnick operates. He is a really good hands-on coach, a very demanding one, but he is also a pretty good sporting director. At Hoffenheim, he led a team from a village of 3200 inhabitants from third tier to Bundesliga and then finished first half of the debut season in top flight as leaders, ahead of Bayern. At RB Leipzig he did a similar thing – leading them from third tier to the Champions League – but it was at Leipzig that he was often switching between being the head coach and the sporting director. In both roles he did a wonderful job of creating a certain culture and system that would produce many intelligent, technical players, but also ready for tough, physical battles.

Is He The Right Man For Manchester United?

That is a tough question to answer. If United are ready to give him ‘the keys’ of selecting the team in the future transfer windows, once his ‘consultancy’ role starts, then he might be able to do a systematic change that would lead the club in a positive direction. However, we should be vary of several potential problems. One of them is that Rangnick is a very stubborn, principled football man, which could lead to clashes with Ed Woodward and other executives at the club. Another one is that Rangnick has not worked at such a great scale such as at Manchester United and recently he did not really do so well at Lokomotiv Moscow in the sporting director role. But we will see. He could bring some much needed ideas and changes. Let’s first see how his interim manager role goes.

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