Man United Top-Four Hopes Unrealistic, Says Rangnick

In this file photo, Manchester United German Interim head coach Ralf Rangnick looks on during the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and Manchester United at St James’ Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, north east England on December 27, 2021. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP)



Ralf Rangnick said on Wednesday that Manchester United must face up to the reality their top-four hopes have likely disappeared as they prepare to take on Chelsea this week without a swathe of key players.

Harry Maguire and Jadon Sancho have joined the Red Devils’ lengthy list of absentees for Thursday’s rearranged Premier League clash with Thomas Tuchel’s team.

United are returning to Old Trafford wounded by back-to-back losses at Liverpool and Arsenal, which have all but ended any faint hopes of reaching next season’s Champions League.

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“I don’t think it makes sense now to still speak and speculate about the Champions League,” United interim manager Rangnick told a press conference.

“We need to be realistic.

“Even if we win all four games, it’s still not in our own hands. But what is in our own hands is the way that we play, the level of performance.

“Even for the next season it’s important to finish this season on the best possible note.”

The German, who is set to remain at Old Trafford in an advisory role next season with current Ajax boss Erik ten Hag in the managerial hotseat, said United would still be an attractive destination for players despite their likely absence from the Champions League.

“The renewal of the contract of Bruno (Fernandes) showed that it’s still possible — this club is an attractive club and with a new manager (Erik ten Hag),” he said.

“With a new approach, with a new manager and the way he wants to play, this is still a massively interesting club.

“I am looking forward to help both Erik and the club, and everyone at the club, to get the best and to change the whole approach again next season so that Manchester United can be a top club again.”

Paul Pogba, Edinson Cavani and Luke Shaw remain absent as does midfielder Fred, following a negative reaction after returning to training.

Aaron Wan-Bissaka is a doubt for the match, which captain Maguire and Sancho will also miss.

The injury issues mean Rangnick will lean on United’s youth system.

Hannibal Mejbri, 19, featured at Liverpool and 17-year-old Alejandro Garnacho has been on the bench recently, with Alvaro Fernandez, 19, another pushing to be involved.


Man United Do Not Deserve European Football, Says Rangnick

Manchester United German Interim head coach Ralf Rangnick looks on during the English Premier League football match between Everton and Manchester United at Goodison Park in Liverpool, northwest England on April 9, 2022. Anthony Devlin / AFP


Ralf Rangnick says Manchester United do not deserve to play European football next season if they carry on performing in such a limp fashion as in Saturday’s 1-0 defeat to Everton.

The German has failed to spark the revival the Manchester United board were hoping for when he stepped in as interim manager after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked in late November.

United have won just eight of the 17 Premier League games Rangnick has been in charge of and Saturday’s defeat leaves them six points off Tottenham Hotspur, who occupy the fourth and final Champions League spot.

Rangnick, who is due to stay on as an advisor once a full-time replacement is named, says based on the Everton display United are lacking in what is required to play in Europe.

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“If we play like we did here we just don’t deserve it,” said Rangnick.

“The players themselves should be eager to play international football if possible Champions League.

“In order to qualify for Europe, you have to be able to score in 95 minutes in a game like this.”

Rangnick was embarrassed by his side’s inability to score against an Everton side that had lost 3-2 to fellow strugglers Burnley in midweek.

“With all respect to Everton — because they have a good team — but if you don’t score against a team who conceded three goals against Burnley, you cannot expect to get anything out of it,” said the 63-year-old German.

Rangnick dismissed the idea that speculation over who will be the next manager had distracted the players.

Ajax’s Dutch coach Erik ten Hag is strongly rumoured to be the next man tasked with reviving United as a title contender after years of disappointment.

He will be United’s fifth permanent boss since the departure of Alex Ferguson as a Premier League champion in 2013 — this will be the fifth successive season they have finished without a trophy.

“I don’t think this should be an excuse,” said Rangnick.

“We are Manchester United. We have lots of international players. There shouldn’t be an alibi.

“There will be a new manager next season. If this is announced now or in 10 days it shouldn’t have an impact.”

United’s Spanish goalkeeper David de Gea echoed Rangnick’s remarks saying with just one win in their last five league games finishing in the top four seems an impossible task.

“We’re not good enough, for sure. It’s going to be very difficult now to be in the top four,” said De Gea.

“We don’t score, we don’t even create proper chances to score.

“They had more desire than us, which is not acceptable.”


Manchester United Need 18 Months To Improve, Says Rangnick

Manchester United German Interim head coach Ralf Rangnick (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP) /


Manchester United’s interim manager, Ralf Rangnick, has revealed that the club side will need about two seasons for considerable successes to be recorded.

The Red Devils have been on a roller coaster form in recent weeks, drawing three, losing two and boasting of a single victory that came against Antonio Conte’s Tottenham in mid-March.

In a post-match interview, Rangnick confirmed that conversations were already on the way about what needs to change going forward

“I have told the board already what has to happen and whenever the new coach or manager is clear, it has to be congruent to how does the manager want to play and what kind of players we need for that,” he added.

“It takes the right decisions, knowing who you want to go to, manager, players, what kind of people do we need for that?” he continued. “Then, in every transfer window, to get the best possible players for that. This is possible, this is not rocket science, it has to be done, it needs to be done.

“If that happens, it does not necessarily mean that we need three-four years for that, maybe just two-three transfer windows, then the situation could be different.”

When drawing a comparison between his side and the teams around the top of the table, Rangnick passed judgement on the work that has gone into building both Manchester City and Liverpool’s squads over the past few seasons

“Those two teams have been built together and have been recruited over a period of five to six years, all of them under the premises of how two coaches want to play,” said the 63-year-old, when fielding questions from journalists.

“We know that already as we spoke about this in the press conference on Friday and this is what has to happen, that is as far as I can go right now.

Despite what appeared to be a rewarding summer with the arrivals of Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho and Raphael Varane, the Red Devils have once again fallen short of title contenders Manchester City and Liverpool.

The German was critical of the side’s physicality and aggressive will to see games through.

“Then again, we come back to DNA, physicality, speed, tempo, what do we need?

“I think this team does not lack technical players, but I think we can do with more physicality,” he said.

With only eight games now remaining until the completion of the 2021/22 campaign, a top-four finish still remains the same aim for Rangnick and his players this season, despite currently sitting seventh in the Premier League table.


Ronaldo Hat-Trick Sets All-Time Scoring Record As Man Utd Beat Spurs

Manchester United's Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on March 12, 2022. Lindsey Parnaby / AFP
Manchester United’s Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring the opening goal during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on March 12, 2022.
Lindsey Parnaby / AFP


Ralf Rangnick admitted managing Cristiano Ronaldo is “challenging” after the 37-year-old rolled back the years with a hat-trick to beat Tottenham 3-2 and keep Manchester United’s chances of playing in the Champions League next season alive.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner had scored just once in his previous 10 games, but three fantastic finishes took him clear as the highest scorer in professional men’s football history according to FIFA’s records with 807 goals for club and country.

Ronaldo’s second spell at Old Trafford has so far proven to be an anti-climax with his poor form sparking debate over whether his powers are waning.

He missed United’s thrashing in the Manchester derby last weekend and was criticised for a perceived lack of commitment as he jetted off to Portugal to rehab a hip injury rather than watch his teammates lose 4-1 at the Etihad after reports he would have been dropped by Rangnick even if fit.

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“It is challenging with players like him but he showed today he still has the quality to play for Manchester United,” said Rangnick. “He’s part of the team and if we want to be successful we have to do it together.”

“Today it was his best performance, at least since I arrived. Not only because he scored three goals, but he was also energetically good today and part of the whole team when we had to defend. A top performance by him, but also the rest of the team.”

Victory lifts United back into fourth, although they are just two points ahead of Arsenal who have four games in hand.

A fifth defeat in eight league games is another blow to Tottenham’s hopes of a top-four finish as they remain seventh, now five points behind United.

“It’s difficult to explain this loss,” said Spurs manager Antonio Conte. “I think we didn’t deserve to lose, but at the same time we need to understand how we can improve.”

Ronaldo ‘decisive’ 

In front of seven-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady, Ronaldo was keen to show his own greatness as he was restored to Rangnick’s starting line-up as one of five changes with Bruno Fernandes the notable absentee due to illness.

It took just 12 minutes for him to make his mark with a stunning strike into the top corner from outside the box.

However, United failed to build on the early goal and were instead forced back in a familiar pattern to previous home games this season against stronger opposition.

A Tottenham equaliser seemed only a matter of time and was gifted to them when Alex Telles handled Dejan Kulusevski’s cross for a clear penalty.

Harry Kane smashed home the resulting spot-kick to continue his fine form for his sixth goal in as many games.

Within three minutes, though, United were back in front thanks to a landmark goal for Ronaldo.

He turned home Jadon Sancho’s inviting cross to surpass Austria-Czech striker Josef Bican as football’s all-time record goalscorer according to FIFA’s records.

United’s defensive deficiencies meant Ronaldo’s work was not done to win the game as Spurs enjoyed the better of the second half.

When a second equaliser arrived for Conte’s men it was thanks to more misery for United captain Harry Maguire.

Consistent errors from the England international have played a huge part in his side’s struggles this season and he turned into his own net from Sergio Reguilon’s cross.

Conte screamed for focus from his side on the sideline, but they succumbed again to Ronaldo’s predatory instincts.

“You have to know when you play against this type of player they are decisive,” added Conte. “Without Cristiano Ronaldo tonight for United, it wasn’t a good night.”

Ronaldo rose highest to meet Telles’ corner nine minutes from time to power a header into the top corner for just his 59th career hat-trick but just his second in United colours.


Rangnick Says He Doesn’t Know If Ronaldo Is Happy At Man Utd

In this file photo, Manchester United’s Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo makes a rare appearance as captain during the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Trafford in Manchester, northwest England, on January 3, 2022.


Ralf Rangnick admits he does not know if Cristiano Ronaldo is happy at Manchester United as the Portugal star prepares to return from injury against Tottenham on Saturday.

Ronaldo was missing from United’s dismal 4-1 defeat against Manchester City last weekend after suffering a hip problem.

The 37-year-old reportedly flew home to Portugal rather than stay in Manchester to support his team-mates in the derby, sparking renewed speculation that he is unsettled at Old Trafford.

The former Juventus striker, in the first season of his second spell with United, has shown signs of frustration after being dropped or substituted at various times.

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He was understood to be underwhelmed by United’s decision to hire Rangnick as an interim boss rather than appoint a permanent successor to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer when the Norwegian was sacked in November.

Asked on Friday whether his star man was unhappy, Rangnick told reporters: “Well, I don’t know —  I haven’t asked him if he’s happy at Manchester and at this club.

“For me, it’s important that he’s fit again and that he resumed training yesterday (Thursday). We will see with which formation and with which line-up we are going to play the game tomorrow.”

Ronaldo is United’s top-scorer this season, with 15 goals in all competitions, but he has only netted once in his past 10 games and Rangnick’s team have slipped down to fifth place in the Premier League.

Rangnick refused to clarify whether Ronaldo had gone to Portugal, saying: “It doesn’t make sense to look back on what was happening in the last six or seven days.

“For me, it’s important what is happening today and tomorrow. For me, it doesn’t make sense at all to go through all this again.

“What’s important is that he and Edi (Cavani) are both back in training and they’re both available for tomorrow.”

Rangnick has also struggled to get the best out of Marcus Rashford, who has scored just five goals this season and has fallen behind youngster Anthony Elanga in the United pecking order.

The German challenged the England man, who started on the bench against City despite the absences of Ronaldo and Edinson Cavani, to replicate the form he shows on the training ground in matches.

“Marcus is training well, he’s got abundant talent, he’s got almost everything that you need as a modern striker,” he said.

“For him it’s only about transforming the performance of the training sessions into the regular games.”


Pogba Return A Month Away, Says Rangnick

This file photo taken on November 02, 2021 shows Manchester United's France's midfielder Paul Pogba warming up ahead of the UEFA Champions League group F football match between Atalanta and Manchester United at the Azzurri d'Italia stadium, in Bergamo. Marco BERTORELLO / AFP
This file photo taken on November 02, 2021 shows Manchester United’s France’s midfielder Paul Pogba warming up ahead of the UEFA Champions League group F football match between Atalanta and Manchester United at the Azzurri d’Italia stadium, in Bergamo.


Paul Pogba is not expected to return from a thigh injury for at least another month, Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick has confirmed amid mounting speculation over the French midfielder’s future.

The 28-year-old last played in a 2-2 draw at Atalanta in early November before pulling up with the injury during training on international duty with France.

Former United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer hoped Pogba would be back “just after Christmas”.

But interim manager Rangnick is now resigned to a far longer layoff.

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“Well, a week ago I was told that it would take another four or five weeks,” said Rangnick.

“He’s not training with the team as yet. As far as I know from the medical department, it will last another three weeks, four weeks and once he is then fit for training that does not necessarily mean he is also match fit.

“It will probably take a couple of weeks until he is really able to compete for the first team.”

Pogba’s absence comes as he is now able to speak to foreign clubs about signing on a free transfer for next season.

His contract at Old Trafford expires at the end of the campaign with no breakthrough in negotiations on a new deal for a player that cost United a then world record £93 million ($126 million) fee to buy from Juventus in 2016.

Rangnick admitted he is missing a midfielder of Pogba’s presence after a woeful performance in losing 1-0 to Wolves last time out.

That was the first defeat for the German in six games in charge, but had been coming after a series of unconvincing displays.

“Well, it doesn’t help if there is a profile missing,” added Rangnick.

“We need to and want to work with the players we have. We showed we are able to keep clean sheets with this group of players but it’s what we’re doing with and without the ball.

“We had too many giveaways, too many turnovers in that game.”

United are aiming to bounce back when they host Aston Villa on Monday in the FA Cup third round.


Wolves Beat Man Utd To End Rangnick’s Honeymoon

Wolverhampton Wanderers' Portuguese midfielder Joao Moutinho (R) celebrates after scoring the opening goal of the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on January 3, 2022. Paul ELLIS / AFP
Wolverhampton Wanderers’ Portuguese midfielder Joao Moutinho (R) celebrates after scoring the opening goal of the English Premier League football match between Manchester United and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Old Trafford in Manchester, north west England, on January 3, 2022.


Wolves ended Ralf Rangnick’s unbeaten start as Manchester United interim manager on Monday as Joao Moutinho’s strike earned a deserved 1-0 win at Old Trafford.

A first home defeat to Wolves in 42 years leaves United still seventh in the Premier League table, four points adrift of the top four.

But it was another lacklustre performance that was just as concerning as the result for Rangnick as the Red Devils were thoroughly outplayed.

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An injury crisis at centre-back with captain Harry Maguire, Victor Lindelof and Eric Bailly all missing, forced Rangnick to hand Phil Jones his first Premier League appearance in two years.

But the former England international was one of few United players to emerge with any credit from a ragged display that raises questions over their chances of qualifying for next season’s Champions League.

Cristiano Ronaldo was named United captain for just the second time in the absence of Maguire.

In his new year message on social media, Ronaldo said he was “not happy” with the state of affairs at United and that “we have to work harder, play better and deliver way more than we are delivering right now.”

However, there was no sign of improvement as Ronaldo was kept quiet up against a number of his Portuguese international teammates.

David De Gea was the difference between the sides when United won 1-0 at Molineux in August and the Spaniard was again his side’s saviour with a finger tip save to turn Ruben Neves’ volley over.

Wolves managed more shots in the first half than they had in their previous three matches combined.

But Bruno Lage’s men have scored just 14 goals in 19 league games and again failed to make their control of the game show in the scoreline.

Rangnick left Bruno Fernandes on the bench after the Portugal midfielder missed Thursday’s 3-1 win over Burnley due to suspension.

Fernandes had been United’s talisman for 18 months till Ronaldo’s return to the club in August, but his slump in form has been symptomatic of the Red Devils’ poor season.

However, it was not until Fernandes’ introduction on the hour mark that the home side even began to threaten a breakthrough.

Fernandes should have opened the scoring when he rattled the crossbar with the best chance of the match from Nemanja Matic’s cross 23 minutes from time.

Moments later his free-kick was headed home by Ronaldo, but clearly from an offside position.

Ronaldo then dragged a shot wide from a narrow angle.

But United’s attacking flurry quickly fizzled out.

Romain Saiss hit the bar from a free-kick as Wolves continued to pose a threat.

And the visitors finally got their reward eight minutes from time when Jones’ header fell kindly for Moutinho at the edge of the box and he drilled low into the bottom corner.

Jose Sa was still needed to make a vital save from another fierce Fernandes free-kick with virtually the last kick of the game.

Victory lifts Wolves up to eighth, just three points behind United.



COVID-19 Has Hampered Man Utd Progress, Says Rangnick

Manchester United German Interim head coach Ralf Rangnick looks on during the English Premier League football match between Newcastle United and Manchester United at St James’ Park in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, north east England on December 27, 2021. (Photo by Paul ELLIS / AFP)


Ralf Rangnick said Wednesday that the upheaval caused by the coronavirus crisis had hindered his efforts to stamp his authority on the under-performing Manchester United squad.

United are unbeaten in all four games they have played under the German, who replaced Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on an interim basis late last month.

But a Covid-19 outbreak at the club meant United had not played a match for more than two weeks before Monday’s disappointing 1-1 Premier League draw at struggling Newcastle.

United, who host Burnley on Thursday, are seventh in the Premier League table, seven points behind fourth-placed Arsenal, but with two games in hand.

Asked if he had achieved as much as he had wanted in his first weeks in charge, Rangnick said: “Of course not.

“Every coach, every ambitious coach — and there’s no difference between other coaches and myself in that area — wants to take faster steps and larger steps forward.

“But in order to do that, you need to be able to train.

“As you know, we had to close Carrington (training base) for four days. Before that we had eight or nine outfield players in training, so directly after the Norwich game, and they only came back in small bits and pieces.

“The last three days we were almost back to full strength with regard to the size of the squad, but we couldn’t do that much in training.”

Rangnick said his players had looked good in the few training sessions they had managed before the Newcastle game, which made Monday’s performance a “negative surprise”.

French international Raphael Varane made his first appearance since November 2 at St James’ Park in a central defensive partnership with Harry Maguire, which was far from convincing.

However, Rangnick defended the former Real Madrid man.

“Rafa hasn’t played for the last five or six weeks and even before the Tottenham game he was injured so in total in the last three months he hasn’t played that many games,” he said.

“Yes, he made a mistake before the first goal that we conceded, but apart from that, I think he was OK. I wouldn’t say that he was outstanding and the same with Harry, but they did OK.”

Defender Victor Lindelof, who missed the trip to Newcastle after testing positive for coronavirus, will still be absent for the Burnley match, while Paul Pogba remains out with a thigh problem.

Bruno Fernandes will be unavailable due to a one-match suspension, after collecting his fifth yellow card of the Premier League season.

Ronaldo Fires Man Utd To Victory At Norwich

Manchester United's Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring the opening goal from the penalty spot during the English Premier League football match between Norwich City and Manchester United at Carrow Road Stadium in Norwich, eastern England, on December 11, 2021. Daniel LEAL / AFP
Manchester United’s Portuguese striker Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring the opening goal from the penalty spot during the English Premier League football match between Norwich City and Manchester United at Carrow Road Stadium in Norwich, eastern England, on December 11, 2021. Daniel LEAL / AFP


Cristiano Ronaldo extended Ralf Rangnick’s unbeaten start as Manchester United interim manager as the Portugal striker’s penalty clinched a 1-0 victory at struggling Norwich on Saturday.

Ronaldo won and converted the second half spot-kick that gave Rangnick a second successive Premier League victory since he replaced the sacked Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

United found it difficult to impose themselves for long periods and it took several fine saves from David de Gea to keep them on level terms before Ronaldo’s 13th goal since rejoining the club from Juventus in August.

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Rangnick’s side sit in fifth place in the Premier League, level on points with fourth-placed West Ham, as the German aims to haul his club back into the Champions League places.

While United must improve significantly on this mediocre display against the Premier League’s bottom club, Rangnick will take heart from successive clean sheets — a stark contrast to the woeful defending seen in the 4-1 loss at Watford that ended Solskjaer’s reign.

Rangnick, who kept faith with the team that beat Crystal Palace 1-0 in his first match last weekend, wants to introduce a high-tempo pressing style to United.

But after making 11 changes from the midweek Champions League draw with Young Boys, there was a noticable lack of energy about United at times.

Norwich were without several players after boss Dean Smith hinted at coronavirus concerns in the squad on Friday, but they still matched United stride for stride.

United were inches away from an early lead when Alex Telles’ free-kick deflected off the Norwich wall and cannoned off the crossbar.

Ronaldo makes his mark

While United had the star power and greater resources, there was nothing to separate two misfiring teams in the first half.

Teemu Pukki should have underlined that point when he let the ball escape his control after Lukas Rupp picked out the unmarked Norwich striker six yards from goal.

After a subdued start, Ronaldo wriggled onto Scott McTominay’s pass for a fierce drive that Tim Krul pushed away.

Harry Maguire’s diving header from Jadon Sancho’s cross forced a back-pedalling tip over from Krul.

Pukki threatened soon after the restart with a swift turn and shot that had De Gea at full stretch to save.

Marcus Rashford hadn’t scored since the end of October and the United forward was left frustrated again when his low drive rippled into the side-netting.

Rangnick responded to United’s lethargic display by sending on Mason Greenwood for Sancho.

There was a scare for United when their defender Victor Lindelof was forced off after falling to the turf holding his chest.

Lindelof seemed to have recovered as he walked off and, as ever, it was Ronaldo who was the catalyst as United finally made the breakthrough in the 75th minute.

Challenging for McTominay’s cross, Ronaldo was dragged down by Max Aarons and the Portugal striker picked himself up to drill the penalty past Krul.

Pierre Lees-Melou almost grabbed an immediate equaliser but the Norwich substitute’s header was clawed away by the inspired De Gea.

Norwich could feel aggrieved that they didn’t earn a point as Billy Gilmour’s goalbound effort was deflected wide by Eric Bailly’s last-ditch block.



Klopp’s Mentor Rangnick Brings Studious Approach To Man Utd

Ralf Rangnick is reportedly close to finalising a deal to become Manchester United’s interim manager (AFP/John MACDOUGALL)


Manchester United’s new interim manager Ralf Rangnick once mentored Jurgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel and now “The Professor” will use his studious approach to revive his troubled Premier League club.

United hired Rangnick on Monday after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked last week following a humiliating 4-1 defeat at Watford that featured the kind of confusion and lethargy that are anathema to the German.

Solskjaer’s failed reign was defined by an acute lack of coherent game-planning.

But Rangnick’s role in championing the “gegenpressing” (counter-pressing) philosophy popularised by Liverpool boss Klopp suggests United are about to be dragged into the 21st century.

United lured Rangnick from his role as Lokomotiv Moscow’s head of sports and development after learning Paris Saint-Germain were not willing to part with Mauricio Pochettino at present.

That could turn out to be a blessing in disguise if the 63-year-old can emulate the success enjoyed by his devoted pupils at Liverpool and Chelsea.

Klopp used Rangnick’s tactics to become a Premier League and European champion at Liverpool, while Chelsea boss Tuchel is an ardent admirer after United’s new manager gave him his first coaching job at Stuttgart.

Rangnick rejected an interim offer from Chelsea in January, paving the way for Tuchel to win the Champions League in his first season with the Blues.

Klopp and Tuchel swear by the intense scheme Rangnick first adopted after watching Valeriy Lobanovskyi’s Dynamo Kiev in the 1980s.

“That was my football epiphany. I understood that there was a different way of playing,” Rangnick said.

The German’s obsession with his players’ reaction times in training is fuelled by his desire to deploy high-tempo pressing tactics during matches.

When Klopp’s Borussia Dortmund suffered an eye-opening 4-1 defeat against Rangnick’s Hoffenheim in 2008, he immediately learned lessons from his counterpart’s style.

In an interview with the Coaches’ Voice website, Rangnick said: “Our idea is clear: it’s very similar to my almost-coaching friend Jurgen Klopp. Our football is very heavy metal, rock and roll and it’s not slow balls.”

Reacting to Rangnick’s appointment, Klopp said it was not good news for United’s rivals.

“Ralf is obviously a really experienced manager,” he said. “Unfortunately a good coach is coming to England.”

‘Trust and empathy’

It will be fascinating to see if Rangnick can persuade Cristiano Ronaldo to carry out his demands after the striker’s apparent unwillingness to get his hands dirty this season.

Ronaldo is not the only United star who might benefit from Rangnick’s arrival, with their often shambolic defending one area his rigorous approach could clearly improve.

Rangnick was one of the first coaches to hire video analysts and sports psychologists and while he once had a no-nonsense style, he has changed with the times.

“Modern-day leadership is about being persuasive and creating a motivational basis so every day the players will want to come in and get better,” he said.

“This is about trust and empathy and human relationships.”

Lutz Pfannenstiel, who worked with Rangnick at Hoffenheim, believes his methodology is ideally suited to lifting United out of their malaise.

“We like to call him in Germany, the football professor. Everything he does is very well thought-out, the way he puts structures in place at every club is something amazing,” Pfannenstiel told the BBC.

A self-confessed Anglophile, Rangnick studied English and physical education at the University of Sussex in the 1970s.

He also played non-league football for Southwick during that spell in England and once worked as an intern at Arsenal.

Rangnick built his coaching resume in Germany with spells at Stuttgart, Hannover, Hoffenheim, Schalke and RB Leipzig, where he was last in the dug-out in 2019.

Rangnick has only won one major trophy, the 2011 German Cup with Schalke.

But he did take Schalke to the Champions League semi-finals in 2011, losing to Alex Ferguson’s United, and led Hoffenheim to the Bundesliga with successive promotions.

After his six-month interim regime, Rangnick has agreed to take on a consultancy role at Old Trafford for two further years.

By the time he steps away, United hope Rangnick’s lessons will have raised the bar at a club that have fallen a long way since their glory days under Ferguson.


Manchester United Appoint Ralf Rangnick As Interim Manager

File photo of Ralf Rangnick


Manchester United announced on Monday they had appointed Ralf Rangnick as interim manager until the end of the season following the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

The 63-year-old German joins from Lokomotiv Moscow, where he was manager of sports and development.

At the end of the season Rangnick, whose appointment is subject to work visa requirements, will take on a consultancy role at Old Trafford for a further two years.

He takes over from first-team coach Michael Carrick, who has been in caretaker charge for two games since Solskjaer was sacked just over a week ago following a terrible run of results for the 20-time English champions.

“He was our number one candidate for interim manager, reflecting the invaluable leadership and technical skills he will bring from almost four decades of experience in management and coaching,” said United football director John Murtough.

The former RB Leipzig boss said he was excited to be joining United and focused on making it a successful season for the struggling club.

“The squad is full of talent and has a great balance of youth and experience,” he said. “All my efforts for the next six months will be on helping these players fulfil their potential, both individually and, most importantly, as a team.

“Beyond that, I look forward to supporting the club’s longer-term goals on a consultancy basis.”

United are eighth in the Premier League table after a 1-1 draw with leaders Chelsea on Sunday, five points off the top four.

First-team coach Carrick — who has overseen a Champions League win over Villarreal and the draw at Stamford Bridge, where he dropped Cristiano Ronaldo — will remain in caretaker charge until Rangnick’s work visa is finalised.

Club bosses sacked Solskjaer last week after a 4-1 humbling at lowly Watford despite keeping faith with the Norwegian after humiliating home losses to rivals Liverpool and Manchester City.

Solskjaer, who scoring the winning goal for United in the 1999 Champions League final to complete a historic treble, was in charge for nearly three years.

Under his leadership United finished in the Premier League top four in back-to-back seasons for the first time since Alex Ferguson retired as boss in 2013 but they failed to win their first silverware since 2017.

United can boast abundant riches in attack, with Ronaldo, Edinson Cavani, Marcus Rashford, Sancho, Marcus Greenwood and Anthony Martial all vying for starting spots.

But their leaky defence has already conceded 22 goals in 13 games, more than four times Chelsea’s total of five.

Rangnick could take charge of United for the first time against Arsenal on Thursday if his work permit issues are sorted out quickly.

Former United defender Gary Neville tweeted: “Welcome to the Greatest Football Club in the World Ralf Rangnick.

“A contract for 6 months to coach the team. A contract for 2 years to coach the club.”


Rangnick’s Expected Arrival At Man Utd ‘Not Good News’ For Rivals: Klopp


Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says Ralf Rangnick’s expected arrival at arch-rivals Manchester United is “not good news for other teams” due to his vast experience and ability to organise teams.

Klopp’s fellow German is set to be installed as United interim manager until the end of the season following last week’s sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer after a terrible run of results.

Rangnick, the former Hoffenheim, Schalke and RB Leipzig boss, is credited with influencing the pressing style of Klopp and Chelsea manager Thomas Tuchel.

“Unfortunately a good coach is coming to England, that’s how it is, to Manchester United,” Klopp said Friday on the eve of Liverpool’s match against Southampton.

“Ralf is obviously a really experienced manager. He built most famously two clubs from nowhere to proper threats and forces in Germany with Hoffenheim and Leipzig.

“United will be organised on the pitch, we should realise that — that’s obviously not good news for other teams.”

Rangnick’s legal representative earlier confirmed to AFP subsidiary SID that the final points of a deal to take the current head of sports and development at Russian club Lokomotiv Moscow to Old Trafford were being finalised.

According to reports, Rangnick, 63, is poised to sign a deal until May 2022 and then work as a consultant at United for two further years.

United are planning to make a permanent appointment at the end of the campaign, with Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino strongly linked with the job.

Michael Carrick took charge of the team for Tuesday’s Champions League win at Villarreal, which secured progress to the knockout stage, and is also preparing the squad for Sunday’s daunting fixture at Premier League leaders Chelsea.

The former United midfielder refused to be drawn on the reports that Rangnick is poised to take charge.

“From my point of view there’s a lot of speculation and reports, but as I’m sitting here now I’m preparing the team for the game,” Carrick said.

“My head’s in the game. I haven’t got any more news to share with you on that front. I’m just looking forward to getting down to London to play against Chelsea.”

Whoever comes in, Carrick believes the misfiring United squad can quickly adapt to a change in style.

“I think you can get ideas across quite quickly. History shows that,” he said.

“Sometimes it’s not just about ideas, it’s just a different voice, a freshness, and history proves that for whatever reason. Sometimes it works really well, sometimes not so well.”