Ralf Rangnick is both a ‘HIPSTER’ and in it for the ‘money’. Is that even possible? Either way, this Manchester United decision is ‘strange’.
Martin Blackburn, The Sun, page 78: ‘Rangnick emerged as the best option following a recommendation by agent Pini Zahavi.’
Also Martin Blackburn, also The Sun, page 79: ‘United know all about him already and that is why he was their top choice to replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on a temporary basis. In 2019, the Red Devils’ football director John Murtough travelled to Leipzig to take a good look at the Red Bull group’s facilities. He spent eight hours with Rangnick – leaving the head of sports development wondering if it was secretly about him rather than the set-up.’
So Rangnick got the job because he was on their radar since meeting with Murtough two years ago – but it needed ‘a recommendation by agent Pini Zahavi’ first? Makes perfect and absolute sense.
Blackburn adds that ‘various opportunities came and went during almost a decade at Red Bull and [Rangnick] must have feared the chance to work in this country – which he had always craved – had gone.’
A few paragraphs earlier, Blackburn writes that ‘he was in the frame for a temporary job at Chelsea following Frank Lampard’s exit… but he ‘turned it down’. Which sounds exactly like the actions of a man who ‘feared the chance to work in this country had gone’.
It’s not about the money, money, money
There is an element of scepticism surrounding the impending appointment, which Blackburn also covers:
‘His appointment raised eyebrows as he was interviewed for a similar position by Chelsea following Frank Lampard’s exit this year.
‘But he said: “I told them ‘I would love to come and work with you but I cannot do it for four months. I am not an interim coach.’
‘”To the media and players you would be the ‘four-month manager’, a lame duck, from day one.”‘
The only ‘raised eyebrows’ here will be from those who wilfully misunderstand the situation, which brings Mediawatch neatly to Martin Samuel of the Daily Mail:
‘The money must be good because, asked to perform a similar role at Chelsea after Frank Lampard’s dismissal, Rangnick said roughly four months was not enough time to have an influence. Maybe he was surprised at what Thomas Tuchel contrived to do in a similar period – or maybe six months makes him think he can bend United into a recognisable shape?’
Or maybe the offer of a two-year consultancy role after his tenure as interim manager understandably persuaded him? The Manchester Evening News are not alone in reporting that Rangnick ‘rejected an initial contract offer’ but accepted when the terms were improved. Almost like such negotiations are to be entirely expected or something.
The ‘money must be good’ stuff is patent b*llocks, by the way. Chelsea aren’t exactly struggling for cash and he turned them down. It truly is (not) a mystery as to why he might have accepted a completely different offer now.
Samuel seems thoroughly underwhelmed by the move, believing it to be yet another ‘strange’ decision by Manchester United. He simply cannot figure out why they would make Rangnick manager for a few months, ‘then a consultant for two years after’.
After all, ‘if he succeeds, why would he want to shrink into the shadows? If he fails, why would anyone take his advice?’
a) Because he has spent the majority of the last decade as a director of football or head of sport and development, having just three managerial stints since January 2011, lasting six, 12 and 11 months respectively.
b) Same answer, really. He is one of the most well-regarded sporting directors in the world and employing him in any capacity could hardly ever be described as ‘strange’, particularly not when Manchester United have just spent almost three years under the tutelage of a thoroughly inexperienced coach.
But this bloke likes “tactics” and seems to wear turtleneck jumpers, which means the Daily Mirror thinks he is fair game:
He is foreign and wears glasses, so… pic.twitter.com/lWDinkYX8f
— Football365 (@F365) November 26, 2021
On behalf of the media, we apologise for the next six months. Just do not use any laptops and make sure that office is not air-conditioned, Ralfy boy.
Accidental burn of the day
‘[Rangnick] insists they will be given every opportunity to improve under him – and the expensively-assembled squad are about to get some very thorough and hand-on coaching’ – Martin Blackburn, The Sun.
Ouch. Apply lukewarm water to the affected areas, Ole.
We end with a quick detour to Dave Kidd, of The Sun and hyperbole fame.
‘We are almost at a stage where it would be a genuine shock if we do not see a third all-English Champions League final in four seasons at St Petersburg’s Gazprom Arena,’ he writes.
Tell that to Bayern Munich, the 2020 champions whose worst result in the group stage so far was a 2-1 win away at Dynamo Kyiv with a relatively weakened team.
Hell, tell that to Ajax, the 2019 semi-finalists for whom Sebastien Haller has scored one goal less than Chelsea and Manchester United overall in the competition so far.
La Liga leaders Real Madrid would probably have something to say about it. Paris Saint-Germain, too. Throw in the fact English teams can face each other from the quarter-finals onwards, and this ‘genuine shock’ at the possibility of not seeing an all-English final seems a little misplaced.