Manchester United have today announced the appointment of Ralf Rangnick as interim manager. The 63-year-old replaces Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who was sacked a week ago following a string of poor performances. Rangnick joins from Lokomotiv Moscow, where he joined as head of sports and development back in July.
“Ralf is one of the most respected coaches and innovators in European football. 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.
“I am excited to be joining Manchester United and focused on making this a successful season for the club.” said Ralf Rangnick
“The squad is full of talent and has a great balance of youth and experience. 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.” he added.
Rangnick is considered to be one of the foremost footballing brains in Germany and is widely recognised for developing Gegenpressing - a style of football where a team closes down the opponent high up the pitch soon after losing possession, and in-turn playing a part in inspiring a host of successful German managers like Jurgen Klopp, Thomas Tuchel, Julian Nagelsmann and also Austrian Ralph Hasenhüttl. In fact, Rangnick was the man who gave Thomas Tuchel his first coaching gig at SSV Ulm.
The former Red Bull head of sports came out as the outright favourite for the job after impressing the United officials during their meeting and the club even have plans to keep him beyond the season and help him put the structure in place to get the glory days back to United.
“Unfortunately, a good coach is coming to England” joked Jurgen Klopp on Friday when asked about the Rangnick’s potential appointment. “(He) built two clubs from nowhere to proper threats in Germany with Hoffenheim and Leipzig. (He) did a lot of different jobs in football but his first concern was always being a coach and that's his skill.” Klopp added.
United came out with a valuable point against Chelsea on Sunday, and face the test of Arsenal on Thursday evening in what could be Rangnick's first match as the new boss, provided he can get his visa finalised.