Ralf Rangnick has been announced as the new interim manager of Manchester United pending work visa requirements, and the finer details of his role, influence and future have been revealed.
The German, 63, has succeeded Michael Carrick as interim boss until the end of the season. At that point, Rangnick will move upstairs into a consultancy role for a further two years.
Manchester United football director, John Murtough, said of the appointment (via United’s official website): “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 said: “I am excited to be joining Manchester United and focused on making this a successful season for the club.
“The squad is full of talent and has a great balance of youth and experience. 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.
“Beyond that, I look forward to supporting the club’s longer-term goals on a consultancy basis.”
Carrick will remain in charge of United until Rangnick’s visa hurdles have been overcome.
Trusted transfer guru Fabrizio Romano tweeted about the appointment prior to United’s official confirmation.
Romano noted Rangnick’s remit will extend beyond just matters on the field during his time in charge.
Given Rangnick will move upstairs when his managerial stint concludes, it stands to reason he will have a say on off-field matters during his stint in the hot-seat.
Furthermore, he will have a say on players whose contracts are expiring in the summer. Most notably, that includes Paul Pogba and Jesse Lingard.
Rangnick already working on tactical overhaul
The 63-year-old is ready to make major changes to United – and it will all start on the training field. As per a report, United were already working with Rangnick ahead of his appointment to implement a number of changes.
As such, the Daily Telegraph claimed Rangnick had gained access to videos of training ground sessions under Solskjaer.
Rangnick wanted to study the footage and produce in-depth analysis of the current squad from different camera angles.
And the paper reports that major changes to training are likely – including the introduction of his infamous countdown clock.
As per James Ducker, Rangnick will introduce the very visible ticker at Carrington training sessions to encourage a high-intensity workout.
The German is widely seen as the Godfather of the gegenpress – a style much-used by Jurgen Klopp. The high-intensity pressing game has been a major facet of the Merseysiders’ success under Klopp. But a more intense version of that now looks likely at United.
Rangnick to install ‘eight-second rule’
Under Rangnick’s plans, he will also install an ‘eight-second rule’ at Carrington. This requires players to win the ball within eight seconds before producing a shot on goal within 10 seconds of successfully reclaiming possession.
Players will also be able to hear the countdown clock during their drills. And Rangnick hopes that will increase intensity and produce quick results.
And at a stage of the season where United need it most, the change is likely to shake-up United’s training sessions in the extreme.
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