How big of an impact can Ralf Rangnick make at Manchester United?
Ralf Rangnick was announced as Man United interim manager until the end of the season. The German coach will then take up a consultancy role at the club for two more years following his interim spell. He replaces former manager Ole Gunnar Solskjær, who left the club by mutual consent following a poor run of results, leaving United outsiders for a Premier League title. Many fans looking for a football betting guide to backing the reds in these uncertain times could find themselves with renewed optimism, as Rangnick is a highly respected name in the footballing community.
Rangnick will take the reigns of a talented Man Untied squad that has ultimately underachieved this season. The coach could be tasked with getting the Red Devils into the top four, and with mounting a successful Champions League campaign.
The 63-yard old coach has plenty of football experience, and, on paper, he has the credentials to lead a club like Man United. But how big will his impact be at the club?
Style of Play: Gegenpressing
One of the criticisms of Solskjær was the lack of clear footballing philosophy and identity. The Norwegian manager was often seen to be out of his depth tactically, and this is an area that Rangnick could address quickly.
Rangnick is regarded as one of the first coaches to implement the gegenpressing football philosophy in Germany during the 1990s. This tactical setup relies on a strong defensive core and an intense front line that relentlessly presses the opposition high up the pitch to win the ball back in attacking areas.
Two of Rangnick’s protégées currently work in the Premier League, Jurgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel, who both learnt from the veteran coach. Klopp at Liverpool and Tuchel at Chelsea have hard- working sides who play on the front foot, take the game to the opposition and create plenty of chances, whilst also remaining solid in defence.
Rangnick will likely implement a similar playing style at United. The German manager is unlikely to shift his tactical style, which has led to success at Stuttgart, Schalke and RB Leipzig, and a gegenpressing philosophy will make a big change from the unrecognisable style of play under Solskjaer.
Some of the criticism surrounding Rangnick’s appointment has been around his lack of managerial experience at a top European club of a similar size to United. However, the 63-year-old has over 30 years of coaching experience at various clubs, and he has also held advisory roles at Red Bull Salzburg and RB Leipzig.
His experience will be extremely useful when trying to bring a winning mentality back to Old Trafford for a team of under-performing players. The likes of Harry Maguire, Paul Pogba and Luke Shaw have regressed this season, often showed glimpses of quality but ultimately falling short of the standard too often.
However, Rangnick should bring his knowledge and experience to give such players dedicated roles in a new system that could bring a new found belief and confidence. Like Tuchel and Klopp, changing the player’s mentality and coaching the whole person rather than just a football player are part of
Rangnick’s philosophy. This change in mentality is likely to get the best out of United’s players who have sorely lacked confidence at the start of the season.