Rebound, revival or revolution? What exactly is Rangnick’s job at United?

Over the last few days we’ve all learned of Ralf Rangnick’s accomplishments, but there is still some debate over his appointment at Old Trafford.

Sure, he has commanded some commendable conquests – but finishing second in the German league with an unlikely candidate is a very different job to guiding a team like Manchester United back to prominence.

The German has penned a deal that will see him take charge of United until the end of the season, then remain involved for an additional two years as a consultant for the next permanent manager and his staff.

Ralf is a supporter of the ‘Gegenpressing’ style of play, which was practically pioneered by Jurgen Klopp while he was the boss at Borussia Dortmund.

It’s a strategy that combines high-intensity pressing to put the opposite side under pressure in an attempt to win the ball back fast, as well as tight marking in defence to negate any counter-attacking potential.

Ralf’s Philosophy

Rangnick said that his “football revelation” occurred during a friendly game against Dynamo Kyiv, which was coached by Valeriy Lobanovskyi at the time.

He stated that Kyiv were the first club he’d ever come up against that methodically pressured the ball. “That was the turning point in my football career. I realised there was a new approach to playing.”

In an interview with The Coaches’ Voice, he explained his attitude towards the game.

He says it’s about dominating the game. In the meanwhile, there are five situations that determine the outcome of football games.

As a coach, he explains, you must have a very clear understanding of how the team wants to operate while in possession of the ball.

Once you’ve got the attacking plan covered, it’s important to have a clear objective for when the other team is in possession. ” When the other team gets the ball, what type of game plan should I provide my players?”.

Ralf adds that it reminds him a lot of Jurgen Klopp, one of his coaching friends. The themes of their Red Bull football include “heavy metal and rock & roll”.

This isn’t a waltz in the traditional sense. Square and back passes irritate them. It’s not practical to merely keep hold of the ball with no real attacking plan.

Ralf’s Job

Manchester United won’t be too disappointed with the point they brought back from Stamford Bridge on Sunday under the instructions of the caretaker boss and former player Michael Carrick. Chelsea have been looking dangerous, but the Red Devils managed to keep them at bay.

However, they do remain eighth in the Premier League on 18 points – 12 points behind Chelsea in first and 5 points behind West Ham in fourth. Brighton and Leicester also have 18 points, with the three teams 9 points above the relegation zone, to give some perspective.

Ralf Rangnick’s first game would have been an interesting one whether Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was still at the helm or if Carrick was given another game.

Arsenal are next on the fixture list at Old Trafford and not only would a win make things much closer in the fight for Champions League qualification, but it would also give a great indication of how Manchester United really stack up against such opposition.

On paper, the team has some incredible talent. There’s simply no denying it. Ralf will need to figure out where some of these players, like Ronaldo, Sancho, van de Beek, will fit into the squad though.

Ralf’s Future

Manchester United have made it very clear that this is an interim position for Rangnick. They believe he is the right man for the job – but only temporarily, which has been confusing for everybody concerned.

Ralf only has the rest of the season to follow his instructions from the directors, before he is replaced by a permanent figure.

Of course, he’ll still be in contention for the job long-term, but he’s certainly not the favourite to do so and will need to seriously impress during the time he has.

The most recent odds for the next permanent manager of Manchester United at a number of football betting sites have PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino as the 2/1 favourite.

Brendan Rodgers, regardless of his scouse history, is the 9/2 second-favourite, although he has verbally committed his future to Leicester City.

Ralf Rangnick is in fact 12/1 to continue in his position but with the likes of Zinedine Zidane ahead of him at 10/1.

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