Who is Ralf Rangnick? Man Utd’s new interim manager known as godfather of German coaching

The German has agreed a six-month deal to become Manchester United’s new interim manager at Old Trafford and could well stay on for a further two years in a consulting role

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  • 17:42, 25 Nov 2021
  • Updated18:18, 25 Nov 2021
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Manchester United have agreed a six-month deal with German manager Ralf Rangnick to become the club’s new interim manager until the end of the season.

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The deal will run until the end of May, but Rangnick could then stay on in a two-year consultancy role at Old Trafford.

The deal is subject to Lokomotiv Moscow, where Rangnick is currently head of sports and development, agreeing to release the 63-year-old from his contract.

The appointment has been made following the sacking of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer just four days ago, coming as a result of United’s humiliating 4-1 defeat to Watford on Saturday which left them in 8th place in the Premier League.

So who is Rangnick? Here is everything you need to know about United’s new interim manager as he aims to turn things around at Old Trafford for the rest of the season.

Is Ralf Rangnick a good appointment for Man Utd? Have your say in the comments section.

Ralf Rangnick will be appointed as Man Utd's new interim manager.
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Image:
Reinaldo Coddou H.)

Who is Ralf Rangnick?

While Rangnick is best known for being a football manager, he has most recently been working as head of sports and development at Russian Premier League club FC Lokomotiv Moscow.

The 63-year-old had an uneventful and very short footballing career in Germany’s lower divisions, before going into management as a 25-year-old in 1983.

Since then, he has gone on to manage 12 different teams including the likes of Stuttgart (1999-2001), Hannover (2001-04), Schalke (2004-05, 2011), Hoffenheim (2006-11) and RB Leipzig (2015-16, 2018-19).

Rangnick also has success as a director of football under his belt after taking on the role for both Red Bull Salzburg and RB Leipzig from 2012 onwards.

During his time at Leipzig as Director of Football, he oversaw the club's rise from Germany's fourth tier to the Bundesliga.

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What has he achieved?

Rangnick hasn't had the most decorative managerial career but, nonetheless, he has still won seven trophies and owns three runners-up medals during his time in German football.

He took current fourth tier German side Ulm to the Bundesliga for the first time in their history at the start of this century, after initially winning the Regionalliga Süd – previously the fourth tier – in 1997–98.

The Under 19 Bundesliga (1990–91) and the UEFA Intertoto Cup (2000) titles were also won at Stuttgart, before acquiring the 2.Bundesliga title in 2001–02 with Hannover.

Rangnick has made a name for himself in Germany over the years.
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Image:
Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images)

His most successful and impressive period as a manager thus far has been at Schalke, where he achieved three trophies at the club over two different spells.

After finishing as runners-up in the Bundesliga and the DFB-Pokal in 2004-05, along with winning the 2005 DFL-Ligapokal, Rangnick returned in 2011 to win the DFB-Pokal and the DFL-Supercup in his second spell at the club.

He also finished as DFB-Pokal runner-up in 2019 with RB Leipzig, during a spell when he had to take over the managerial reins at the club during their rise to the top of the Bundesliga and Champions League football.

What can he bring to United?

Rangnick has been labelled the ‘godfather’ of modern coaching in Germany because of his input on a style of football known as Gegenpress, and has been credited for influencing the likes of Thomas Tuchel, Julian Nagelsmann, Ralph Hasenhüttl, and Jürgen Klopp.

Gegenpressing is known as ‘counter-pressing’ in Germany, whereby players are taught to retrieve the ball immediately after they have lost it, rather than adopting any other tactics such as regrouping and reshaping without the ball.

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Klopp has been one of the most successful managers to have used this method, as shown with his previous Borussia Dortmund side and current Liverpool team – who he has won the Premier League and Champions League with in recent seasons.

Rangnick could very well take this same approach with United as he looks for a strategy and a new game plan to get the very best out of this team and turn their season around as quickly as possible.

A new manager, a new start and a new brand of football could be just what this confidence-lacking United team requires, and it’s fair to say that the times ahead could be looking very promising for the Red Devils.

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