NSIt’s no longer a surprise, of course. Manchester United confirmed this Monday: Ralph Rangnick will continue to serve as interim coach until the end of the current season and then for at least another two years in an advisory role in the Premier League. According to the announcement, the 63-year-old’s work permit is still pending in the UK. If available by then, Rangnick could be on the bench at his new club for the first time in the league game against Arsenal next Thursday.
Only in the summer, Rangnick signed a contract as General Director of Sports and Communications at Lokomotiv Moscow. The contract is now terminated. It is not known if United paid a transfer fee or not. In some sort of interview, Rangnick is said to have completely convinced Old Trafford decision-makers of his vision: According to reports, he was the first choice of Vice Chairman Ed Woodward, Director of Football John Murtaugh and Head Coach Darren Fletcher – although there are more well-known candidates for this. position.
Emphasizing Rangnick’s commitment, Murtaugh said: “Ralph is one of the most respected coaches and creators in European football. He was our first candidate as interim coach.” According to reports, Rangnick is bringing a small group of assistants with him to Manchester, but he will also work on site with existing staff – including Michael Carrick, former assistant coach of sacked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who is currently in charge of the squad.
Rangnick said he is looking forward to his new role at Manchester United and is fully focused on finishing this season successfully: “The squad is full of talent and they have a great balance of youth and experience.” The months consist of helping players reach their full potential – “individually, and most importantly as a team”.
What will happen to Ronaldo?
United spent the equivalent of about 140 million euros on pre-season additions. Jadon Sancho came from Borussia Dortmund, Raphael Varane from Real Madrid, and world star Cristiano Ronaldo from Juventus Turin. Some of the highest paid Premier League professionals are under contract with United. The record-breaking England champions, who have faltered for years, are only eighth in the table after 13 games – the points difference from leaders Chelsea is greater than Burnley in first relegation, though.
In Group F of the Champions League, United take first place – mainly due to Ronaldo’s goals. Critics still see him as an obstacle because United’s game revolves around him so much. It will be interesting to see what role Ronaldo plays in Rangnick’s plans.
As a proven footballing expert, Rangnick is the exact opposite of his predecessor Solskjaer, who was primarily a passionate actor due to his services as a United player. So fans hope that Rangnick will be able to prevent the spoiled season altogether. German coaches have a good reputation in England: Jurgen Klopp at Liverpool and Thomas Tuchel at Chelsea are likely to have inspired Woodward, Murtaug and Fletcher.
During these days, both Klopp and Tuchel paid their respects to Rangnick, who has a reputation for being tactically up to date. However, there are also doubts about whether Rangnick, as a long-term oriented planner, is the right person to make a quick improvement as interim coach – especially since the team doesn’t necessarily fit his style, which is aimed at pressing. “He has a lot of work to do, that’s for sure,” the BBC wrote in an analysis.
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