Another day brings another Ralf Rangnick attack. Now he is being all stubborn as well as nerdy…
You Rang, m’lord
So far this week we have focused on ‘Rangnick’s “godfather of gegenpress” tag being one of football’s great misnomers’ (Monday), this Manchester United crisis being the worst since 1990 (Tuesday) and a feud between Mason Greenwood and Cristiano Ronaldo (Wednesday) so it’s fair to say that the Manchester United crisis wagon is rolling on despite a current record of one defeat in 10 games. There’s gold in them there crisis-laden hills.
On Thursday we turn to the Mirror website, who are particularly keen to keep this narrative rolling on.
‘Ralf Rangnick risks further Man Utd unrest with stubborn transfer decision’
Full marks for squeezing in the word ‘transfer’ at a time when Manchester United will not be making any.
So what’s the story?
‘Crisis, mess, upheaval – call it what you want, Ralf Rangnick has work to do to fix Manchester United.’
Well, you’ve called it all of those things over the last ten days while studiously ignoring the fact that results have largely been positive.
‘From tactical distress to dressing room displeasure, the interim Red Devils manager will need to tackle his lengthy list of problems before things go from bad to worse, and the January transfer window presented an opportunity to reshuffle the squad.
‘But rather than sign players like supporters have pined for, it seems Rangnick is busy blocking exits for a number of men who want to leave Old Trafford and convincing them to stay – successfully so in Edinson Cavani’s case amid interest from Barcelona.’
Firstly and really quite importantly, Rangnick is not in charge of transfer decisions. Which admittedly is a bit of a bummer when you have decided that he is the source of all evil at Manchester United. The club has a co-chairman (Joel Glazer), an executive vice-chairman (Ed Woodward), a director of football negotiations (Matt Judge), a technical chief scout (Mick Court), a global chief scout (Marcel Bout) and a technical director (Darren Fletcher). We doubt that they have pitched to sign a big old pile of brilliant central midfielders and Rangnick has vetoed the lot because he is ‘busy’ talking to Edinson Cavani.
So what’s so ‘stubborn’ about Rangnick?
‘The acclaimed German coach is not willing to sanction any moves without them being on his and the club’s stringent terms.’
Those ‘stringent terms’ seem to be that clubs should not be allowed to borrow their players and pay less than half their wages. And those terms are not just standard but, well, absolutely nothing to do with Rangnick.
He really is ‘risking further unrest’ by being the manager of Manchester United football club at a time when they are trying to make sensible financial decisions.
Cristiano Ronaldo has spoken and that dominates the back page of The Sun, who focus on his rather cryptic comments that he “does not know the specific way” to fix things at Manchester United but actually he “knows the way” and is just keeping it to himself, which is the kind of answer you expect from a seven-year-old.
Online, The Sun know exactly what they are doing when they splash a massive image of Ralf Rangnick and Ronaldo on their football homepage with the headline ‘RON DIRECTION’. They are more than happy to imply that Ronaldo believes Rangnick to be the issue.
Click through and you will find that ‘Ronaldo refuses to blame new coach Ralf Rangnick for the club’s current performances’. Hmmm. ‘Refused to blame’? He literally said this: “Since he arrived I think in some points we are better, but he needs time. It’s not that easy to change the mentality of players and the way they play, the culture, the system like that. I believe that he is going to do a good job.”
That’s not a ‘refusal to blame’; that’s pretty much an endorsement of a man who has lost one whole game as manager.
”I don’t accept less than the top three’ – Cristiano Ronaldo hints at QUITTING Man Utd at end of season in shock exit’ – The Sun online.
First, let’s address this ‘QUITTING’ nonsense. He can’t; he’s under contract. He can only QUIT if he finds somebody to take on his contract or buys himself out of said contract, which might actually be a blessed relief to many at Manchester United.
Second, he said: “Manchester United should win the league, or be in second or third. I don’t see other positions for Manchester United to be honest, I don’t see it. In my eyes I don’t accept that our mentality be less than to be in the top three in the Premier League in my opinion.”
And from that utterly predictable quote from a serial winner, you extrapolate that he will QUIT? Behave.
‘THOMAS TUCHEL guided Chelsea to a third final in under a year – but was still not happy.’
So far, so pretty normal from Paul Jiggins on the back page of The Sun.
‘Antonio Rudiger’s first-half header sealed a Carabao Cup date with either Arsenal or Liverpool at Wembley next month.
‘Tuchel, who was celebrating his 350th day since his first game…’
Nope. That’s not a thing.
Shame, shame, shame
What’s your reaction to this tweet?
1 – Just 350 days after his first game in charge of Chelsea, Thomas Tuchel has become the first manager in the club’s history to guide the Blues to the final of each of the League Cup, FA Cup and Champions League/European Cup. Imposing. pic.twitter.com/STkUKoMffl
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) January 12, 2022
If it’s to write that ‘Thomas Tuchel puts Jose Mourinho to shame with record-breaking Chelsea feat’ then congratulations for you are Reiss Tigwell and you are definitely not mentioning this Mirror piece on your rather impressive Twitter bio.
Will this do?
In the Daily Mirror, the man ‘at the heart of football’ Brian Reade spends literally 633 words imploring Jurgen Klopp and Mikel Arteta to play their best teams in the Carabao Cup semi-final, telling them to ‘forget about next weekend’s league games, refuse to hide behind Covid or the Africa Cup of Nations absentees, play the strongest team possible and really go for it’.
They literally cannot pick players at AFCON, Brian. And they literally cannot pick players with Covid. But they will undoubtedly play their strongest team possible because it’s a semi-final.
At least we now know that the heart of football has a strong signal because that column really was phoned in.