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Ralph Rangnick: The man to save Manchester United’s Season?

By Calum Forster

Manchester United have reached an agreement with German football manager Ralf Rangnick. The deal includes a six-month contract as interim and then a two-year consultancy contract, as per David Ornstein. But who is Rangnick and what is he likely to bring to United?

Ralf Rangnick is German professional football manager, sports executive whose latest job is Head of Sports and Development at Russian Club FC Lokomotiv Moscow. Rangnick began his coaching career in 1983 at the age of 25 and is most famous for his time as Sporting Director of the different Red Bull clubs he helped to build into a global sporting brand. Working for Red Bull Leipzig, New York, Salzburg, and Bragantino, Rangnick is well travelled and is regarded highly for the positive affect he can have when helping to build a football clubs structure.


"IMG_0345.jpg" by Thomas Rodenbücher is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Rangnick is one of the most respected names in German football and is said to have influenced current Premier League managers Jurgen Klopp, Ralph Hassenhuttl and Thomas Tuchel while also having a strong influence on current Bayern Munich boss Julian Nagelsmann. Rangnick believed in Nagelsmann when he was only 30 years old and had little experience in management, but Rangnick believed in his style and wanted him to become the manager of the club that he had spent time building.

The German has long been associated as one of the first people behind the ‘gegenpress’, which translates as ‘counter-press’. This is a form of high pressing, high intensity and all out running which has been adapted with a lot of success with the likes of Jurgen Klopp. So, although Rangnick has never had a career in the Premier League yet, his ideas and thoughts of how football should be played are being seen every week by Klopp and Liverpool. For United fans the blueprint for his style has been proven to be successful but there will be work to do in order to implement a style of play in such a short period of time. United fans can expect this high intensity football where Rangnick believes passes should only be made forward and away from the goalkeeper as he is the least technical player with his feet. He also uses analysis from over the year to find when the perfect time to score a goal is and he expects his teams to win the ball back within eight seconds of losing it and having a shot within ten seconds of having possession, this is because he believes a team is at their weakest in that ten second period of losing the ball because they are focused on regrouping and can be caught out.

The deal that United have agreed with Rangnick has gone down well with fans on social media and the fact that he will take a consultancy role on the board as well has given fans the belief that the football decisions that are now made at the club will be more logical and successful with the help of Rangnick and his years of experience. After the initial sixth month deal which will see Rangnick try and change the fortunes of United’s season, he will be tasked with looking for a permanent manager with Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino and Ajax manager Erik ten Hag being the two front runners for the job Rangnick’s job now is to stable the ship for next season where the club hope to push on and challenge for the Premier League title.

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