Foresight, planning, project, talent – hardly any German football official stands for these terms like Ralf Rangnick. “The Professor” now wants to shape Manchester United according to his ideas. In addition to his interim role as a trainer, he should be given appropriate skills.
With Ralf Rangnick, the Premier League has got the third German coach of a top team. The 63-year-old will take over as manager of Manchester United until next summer. Afterwards, “the professor” will act as an advisor for the Red Devils.
On Monday, the English record champions officially announced the signing of Rangnick. The previous interim coach Michael Carrick and his assistant coach Mike Phelan will probably remain as Rangnick’s assistants.
“I’m thrilled. The squad is full of talent and a good mix of youth and experience. I will do everything I can to help these players reach their potential and look forward to supporting the club’s longer-term goals as an advisor.” said the 63-year-old for the official announcement.
But Rangnick did not come to Old Trafford only to leave after six months. He came to stay! Probably not as a trainer, but (officially) as a consultant. In this role, Rangnick wants to have a major impact on the future direction of the club.
Even after the first rumors, it was hard to imagine that the 63-year-old would be fobbed off with a temporary interim role. Like transfer expert Fabrizio Romano now reported, that will not be the case either. Rather, Rangnick should have an active influence on future decisions.
On the one hand, this applies to the choice of the new coach, who is to take over for Rangnick for the coming season. On the other hand, this probably also applies to the club’s transfer planning. The future United squad should also bear Rangnick’s signature.
Until the summer there are still some important questions in the current line-up that Rangnick should (help) decide. The contracts of Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard are expiring, the working paper of left-back Luke Shaw is only valid until 2023.
The most exciting question, however, remains who could take over as coach for the new season. The top candidates are known: PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino, Ajax coach Erik ten Hag and Leicester coach Brendan Rodgers. All three were not immediately available, which is why Rangnick presented an interim solution.
The upcoming United coach should identify with Rangnick’s ideas. In other words: Rangnick is driving the new direction as an interim coach before it is to be continued from 2022/23. It cannot be ruled out loud Romano even that Rangnick will take over as permanent coach beyond the summer. That was even Rangnick’s wish at the beginning.
In any case, one thing is clear: With Rangnick, Manchester United has got a ‘doer’ who wants to align the club for the future and for the long term. Terms like ‘planning’ and ‘foresight’ have rarely been associated with United executives in the recent past. With Rangnick, the chances are good that that will change now. Should he actually be given appropriate skills.