Man United: Ralf Rangnick will provide clarity as a famously influential leader, says MARTIN SAMUEL
There is an episode of Seinfeld where George decides that all the decisions he made in his life were mistakes.
“Every instinct I have in every aspect, whether it’s something to wear or something to eat, it’s all been wrong,” he says. He vows to do the opposite from then on.
It seems that the same logic has permeated Manchester United. The dark ghost of Jose Mourinho was replaced by the little ray of sunshine Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. That didn’t work, so now Solskjaer makes way for Ralf Rangnick.
Manchester United have agreed to appoint Ralf Rangnick as interim manager
The dark ghost of Jose Mourinho (left) was replaced by a little ray of sunshine Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (right) – but that didn’t work, so now United have turned to Rangnick
Manchester United go from the least coached elite team in the world to the most. When Ole is at the wheel, Rangnick’s style is to sit at the wheel, in the passenger seat and also yell instructions from the back.
The money must be good, as Rangnick, who was asked to play a similar role at Chelsea following Frank Lampard’s sacking, said around four months was not enough time to make an impact. Perhaps he was amazed at what Thomas Tuchel managed to do in a similar period – or perhaps six months makes him think he can bend United into recognizable form.
If order and structure were lacking this season, they are now coming with bells. Rangnick is a famously influential leader, who inspired the current generation of German coaches without ever getting a chance at a really big club. By reputation, he is Marcelo Bielsa with an umlaut.
It therefore seems strange that Manchester United only see him as a manager for six months and then as an adviser for two years. If he can do it, why would he want to shrink into the shadows? If he fails, why would anyone take his advice?
Rangnick is a famously influential leader – reputation wise he is Marcelo Bielsa with an umlaut
Rangnick seems like just the kind of figure United need right now, were it not for their obsession with the big name’s optics.
He has one domestic cup on his honors board, putting him on par with Mauricio Pochettino. However, the German has never been blessed with the stars that revolve around Paris Saint-Germain, or even the Spurs.
Rangnick’s talent has always been to create great players, rather than recruit them.
Given this, it will be interesting to see how he fits Cristiano Ronaldo into what is a pretty clearly defined way of playing: a lot of energy and a lot of pressing.
Rangnick’s talent has always been to create great players, rather than recruit them
How does Cristiano Ronaldo fit into what is a clearly defined method of high energy and press?
At a recent coaching conference in London, Rangnick spoke about the best managers who know exactly what football they want to play. He insisted that they all have a clear vision of what their team looks like.
“They have a video of the perfect game in their head,” he said. And when we think of Jurgen Klopp, Pep Guardiola or Tuchel, he is right. Their teams would be recognizable even without colors. So would Rangnick.
Unfortunately, few had any idea what United were trying to achieve under Solskjaer. They were a halfway house. Press one minute, drop the next. Rangnick will provide clarity – and if he’s as smart as he sounds, he should also be able to adapt his strategies to Ronaldo’s presence.
We’ll know more next week. Rangnick can’t get a work permit for United’s Chelsea game, so the interim is denied a debut against disciple Tuchel. It remains to be seen if United’s final 180-degree turn will work as quickly as the previous one.
Rangnick (left) has the careers of Jurgen Klopp (right) and Thomas Tuchel. affected
The German is tasked with putting United on the table after a poor start to the campaign
In the episode The Opposite, George decides to approach a very beautiful girl in the restaurant.
“My name is George,” he says. “I’m unemployed and living with my parents.”
“I’m Victoria, hi,” the blonde says sexy. Manchester United are hoping for an equally promising return.