Ralf Rangnick is expected to take control of Manchester United until the end of the season – and the German’s famous intensive training will have an instant impact, especially on the club’s young players, Sky Sports expert Alan Smith said. .
Rangnick is in talks with United over a deal that would see him not only step into the dugout following Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s sacking, but also see him stay at the club for two years beyond the end of the season in a consultant role.
He is currently Director of Sports and Development at Lokomotiv Moscow, but has earned a reputation as one of the most respected names in German football through his work, both as a coach and as a as director of football, with clubs such as RB Leipzig, Hoffenheim and Schalke.
Smith believes Rangnick’s style and experience will lead to significant improvements in a United side that have lost five of their last seven Premier League games, and will travel to Chelsea live on Sky Sports on Sunday for a kick-off at 4.30 p.m.
“This is fascinating news and good news for Man Utd,” Smith told Essential football podcast. “He is a manager, a leader and a coach of great abilities.
“I’m a little surprised – he isn’t immediately mentioned when various clubs are looking for a manager – but if you ask German coaches, such as Jurgen Klopp, Thomas Tuchel and Julian Nagelsmann, they all admire him.
“They see him as a father figure or a mentor, like Latin managers like Pep Guardiola, Mauricio Pochettino, see Marcelo Bielsa. That kind of figure, someone who wrote the rulebook for others to follow .
“It’s a very good meeting and in his first months at the helm of this first team you will see improvements, especially in individuals.
“He enjoys working with energetic, ready to learn, hungry young players – and you look at guys like Scott McTominay and Jadon Sancho, who has yet to start racing at Man Utd, Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford, those players, he’ll really appreciate working with so much talent there and in the weeks and months to come you will see these boys start up. “
Make your mark
Rangnick’s teams generally play an intense pressing game and are known for their meticulous organization.
It would be a change from United’s style under Solskajer, with the team recently criticized for poor pressing and playing modes.
“I think he will leave his mark, his style of football in this Man Utd team quite quickly,” said Smith.
“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 it is “They’re improving individually, it wins the day and they’ll go with this manager. That’s how he’s been successful over the years.”
“He’s had this mix of club supervision, director of football, coach, but like most coaches they like to be on the training ground day to day and have that close contact with the players and I am sure it ‘will be no different.
I’m sure it will come in like a whirlwind. He’s obsessive. With Solskjaer, you felt like it was sort of inventing it as you go. We’ll see what Rangnick wants fairly quickly.
“I’m sure he’ll come in like a whirlwind. He’s an obsessive, a bit of a control freak, although he says he’s learned to delegate a bit more as he gets older. But these people think about football when they wake up. until the moment they fall asleep, even dream of it. This is how the best coaches are. He is certainly a football junkie.
“It will be very different [to under Solskjaer]. The demands on individuals in terms of roles at any given time in a match, depending on where the ball is, etc.
“They have so much individual talent that Solskajer either left them to their own devices or hoped that the talent would win out. He obviously worked hard on the training ground, but what he was working on wasn’t working and he didn’t. could not compete with the modern elite coaches.
“We’ll see pretty quickly what Rangnick wants. And if that works and the players think it makes them a better player, they’ll be on that train with him.”
Paving the way for Poch?
The plan remains for Man Utd to appoint a long-term manager next summer, with current PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino favored for the role.
Smith says Rangnick’s planned move to a consulting role at the end of this season may suggest that United have a clear understanding of who they will appoint – and that the partnership between Rangnick and United’s next permanent manager will be essential.
“The fact that they took on this two-year consulting contract after the end of this season makes you think they have someone planned, someone they’ve talked to, someone they’re convinced of that he will be able to join the club this summer and also someone is happy to work with Rangnick, ”said Smith.
“Behind the scenes you have to feel that maybe everything has been sorted out.
“Pochettino is mentioned – I don’t know if he knows too much about Rangnick, but Rangnick will have a firm hand on the bar above the tasks of the first team and a lot of contact with the manager, so the relationship between these two there, if it is Pochettino, will be vital.
“It will be fascinating to keep an eye on Old Trafford to see how things develop.”
Premier League preview – Expect Rangnick ‘whirlwind’ impact at Man Utd | Its objectives | More: Brighton, Brentford Analysis
Peter Smith is joined by Sky Sports expert Alan Smith and football journalist Simeon Gholam to anticipate the Premier League weekend.
PART 1 | Alan Smith discusses the appointment of Ralf Rangnick as interim Man Utd boss, what he will bring to the club and how he could help their young players get started. Is he preparing the way for Mauricio Pochettino? Alan is evaluating Rangnick’s consulting role, which is also set to begin next summer.
PART 2 | Simeon Gholam explains Brighton’s mixed start to the campaign and what they need to do to get back on their way to victory against Leeds.
Part 3 | Simeon – our EFL editor – also takes a look at newly promoted Brentford, who also had a strong start followed by a frustrating spell, ahead of their Super Sunday clash with Everton.