Ralf Rangnick confirmed as Manchester United interim manager
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Manchester United are battling red tape and time in order to get new manager Ralf Rangnick in the dugout for Thursday’s clash against Arsenal. Highly-respected Rangnick was confirmed as United’s interim manager on a six-month deal yesterday with a further two years in a consultancy role.
But attempts to install the German in the hotseat in time to face the Gunners are foundering on visa paperwork, travel arrangements from Moscow to Manchester and complicated still further by the UK’s Covid entry requirements.
Rangnick is understood to be keen to address the playing staff to get his ideas across as soon as possible and admitted he was eager to get started .
“I am excited to be joining Manchester United and focused on making this a successful season for the club,” he said.
“The squad is full of talent and has a great balance of youth and experience.
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“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.”
Rangnick, who was United’s No 1 choice, dazzled at interview with Ed Woodward, Football Director John Murtough and Technical Director Darren Fletcher.
Murtough said: “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.
“Everyone at the club is looking forward to working with him during the season ahead, and then for a further two years in his advisory role.”
Rangnick is expected to bring in a small staff of his own but will keep the existing coaching structure of Michael Carrick, Kieran McKenna and Mike Phelan in place.
Rangnick will also be given funds to add to his squad in January if he assesses areas of weakness. But he has told the United board they have the talent in place already.
United are more hopeful he use his four decades of experience to effect a revolution of training ground routines to improve the existing squad.
Graeme Souness, the former Liverpool midfielder, has however been strongly critical of United’s decision to bring in Rangnick.
He told talkSPORT: “This is the third interim manager since Fergie went. I don’t get it. The man Rangnick’s CV is not one you would go ‘wow’ and doesn’t jump out at you.
“He’s not been super successful. I think he’s won one trophy. That’s not what Man United need right now. Man United need it instantly.
“They need someone to make an impact now. A nice pension for him, 63 years old, it’s lovely work if you can get it. I just don’t get this appointment.”
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But United legend Rio Ferdinand said by contrast on Vibe with FIVE: “I’m happy with it, I’ve seen a lot of people disgruntled, a lot of people in the media saying ‘why’s he got it?’
“People keep judging this situation based on Man United 10 years ago. Man United are in a completely different place now, they need to be rebuilt.
“Now they have an opportunity with somebody who has the experience and understanding, and knows the detail behind building not only a team, but a club from the ground up.
“Not that the club needs building, but from a certain point, there’s a DNA, a philosophy, and understanding of what you want to do, and an identity needs to be recreated that fits Man United.
“There’s no better person in the world for me right now who would be able to do all of those things. It’s a big ask, a club of this size.”
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