Ralf Rangnick seems to be taking charge of Manchester United until the end of the season – and the German’s famous intensive training will have an immediate impact, especially on the club’s young players, says Sky Sports expert Alan Smith.
Rangnick is in discussions with United about an agreement that will not only make him step into the grave after Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s dismissal, but also see him remain at the club for two years after the season ends in a consulting role.
He is currently the manager of sports and development at Lokomotiv Moscow, but has created a reputation as one of the most respected names in German football with his work, both as coach and as football director, with clubs such as RB Leipzig, Hoffenheim and Schalke.
Smith believes Rangnick’s style and experience will lead to significant improvements in a United team that has lost five of their last seven Premier League matches and goes to Chelsea live on Sky Sports on Sunday for a kick-off at 4.30pm.
“This is fascinating news and good news for Man Utd,” Smith said Essential Football Podcast. “He is a manager, leader and coach with great abilities.
“I’m a little surprised – he is not immediately mentioned when different clubs are looking for a manager – but if you ask the German coaches, such as Jurgen Klopp, Thomas Tuchel and Julian Nagelsmann, they all look up to him.
“They see him as a father figure or mentor, in the way Latin leaders like Pep Guardiola, Mauricio Pochettino see Marcelo Bielsa. That kind of figure, a person who wrote the rulebook that others could follow.
“It’s a really good appointment, and during his first few months in charge of the first team you will see improvements, especially in individuals.
“He likes working with young players who are energetic, willing to learn, hungry – and you look at the boys like Scott McTominay and Jadon Sancho who have not yet hit the ground running at Man Utd, Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford, these players, he will really enjoy working with so much talent there, and in the next few weeks and months you will see the boys move on. “
Leaves its mark
Rangnick’s team typically plays an intensely urgent game and is known for their careful organization.
It would be a shift from United’s style under Solskajer, where the team was recently criticized for their poor pressure and playing patterns.
“I think he will stamp his imprint, his football style on the Man Utd team pretty quickly,” Smith said.
“He has said many times before that one of the main tasks of a coach is to know how he wants his team to play, and to sell that vision to his players. If these methods start to work and the players feel, that they improve individually, then it wins.the day and they will go with that manager.This is how he has achieved success over the years.
“He’s had this mix of overseeing clubs, director of football, also being manager in abundance, but like most coaches, they love being on the training ground every day and having the close contact with players, and I’m sure he “will not be any different.
I’m sure he will go in like a whirlwind. He’s obsessed. With Solskjær, you felt that in a way it came up while they were walking. We’ll see what Rangnick wants pretty soon.
“I’m sure he’s going to go in like a whirlwind. He’s obsessed, a bit of a control freak, even though he says he’s learned to delegate a little more as he gets older. But these people think about football. from the moment they wake up to the time they go to bed even dreaming about it.That’s how the top coaches are.It’s definitely a football obsessed.
“It will be very different [to under Solskjaer]. The requirements for individuals in terms of what their roles are at a given time in a match, depending on where the ball is and so on, with Solskjær it was felt that in a way it made up for it as they went on.
“They have so much individual talent that Solskajer left them to it or hoped that the talent would win the day. He obviously worked hard on the training ground, but what he was working on did not work and he was not able to compete with modern elite coaches.
“We’ll see what Rangnick wants pretty quickly. And if it gives results and the players feel it makes them a better player, they’ll be on that train with him.”
Pave the way for Poch?
The plan is still for Man Utd to appoint a long-term manager next summer, with current PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino favorite for that role.
Smith says Rangnick’s planned move to a consulting role at the end of this season may indicate that United are aware of who they will appoint – and that the partnership between Rangnick and United’s next permanent manager will be key.
“The fact that they have signed this two-year consulting contract after the end of this season makes you think they have someone lined up, someone they have talked to, someone they are sure can join the club in the summer and also someone is happy to work with Rangnick, “Smith said.
“Behind the scenes, you have to feel that everything has been arranged.
“Pochettino is mentioned – I do not know if he knows too much about Rangnick, but Rangnick will have a firm hand on the helm over first-team tasks and a lot of contact with the manager, so the relationship between the two, if it’s Pochettino, will be crucial.
“It’s going to be fascinating to keep an eye on Old Trafford to see how things develop.”
Premier League Preview – Expect a “whirlwind” impact from Rangnick at Man Utd | His goal | Plus: Brighton, Brentford analysis
Peter Smith is joined by Sky Sports expert Alan Smith and football journalist Simeon Gholam to look forward to the Premier League weekend.
PART 1 | Alan Smith discusses Ralf Rangnick’s appointment as interim manager of Man Utd, what he wants to bring to the club and how he could help their young players move forward. Is he paving the way for Mauricio Pochettino? Alan is assessing Rangnick’s consulting role, which is also scheduled to start next summer.
PART 2 | Simeon Gholam breaks down Brighton’s mixed start to the campaign and what they need to do to get back to winning against Leeds.
PART 3 | Simeon – our EFL Editor – is also looking at newly promoted Brentford, who have also had a good start followed by a frustrating period ahead of their Super Sunday clash with Everton.