Man Utd boss Rangnick urges League Cup, subs reform

Will Ford
Man Utd boss Ralf Rangnick walks to the dugout

Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick has called for the future of the League Cup to be discussed and for five substitutes to be implemented in the Premier League.

Both League Cup reform and player welfare have been hot topics in recent days, amid discussions over the hectic winter schedule.

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United take on Newcastle on the 27th, in Rangnick’s first taste of Boxing Day(ish) football.

The German boss admits he is excited by the prospect, but picked out other issues he believes need to be remedied in English football.

He said: “You know that better than I do what a big tradition it is to play on Boxing Day, 27th, I think we should stick to and respect this tradition. I’m looking forward to that for, first time in my coaching career, but there could be two other issues and have been discussed in the past.

“England is the only top league that plays two cup competitions, in France they abolished the second one, we are the only country that plays two cup competitions, this is something we could speak about and discuss, the League Cup is still kept for the third and fourth division teams to improve the financial situations of those clubs. But a tight calendar, too many games, this is something to speak and discuss.

“The other issue changed is you would have to have a replay, this had been changed now, other countries, you play ET and pens, and never have replays, those are topics you could speak about.”

Jordan Henderson spoke this week about the lack of care over player welfare, with Pep Guardiola joining the Liverpool captain in insisting more needed to be done to look after the players.

Rangnick claims five substitutes would be a good way to help prevent player burnout.

He added: “As far as I remember the four subs were implemented, it was decided every team could substitute five players when Covid started 18 months ago and I think it was the right decision to have more options to change players, to save energy especially if they have only just recovered from Covid. And the same is true right now, I wouldn’t see any situation why it wouldn’t be one and a half yrs ago.

“England is the only country where they don’t allow five subs… you’re still allowed eight field players on the teamsheet, you should be able to replace five, you will always have five players on the bench who cannot be substituted on and cannot play.”