Since Ralf Rangnick’s arrival at Old Trafford, things have changed. The performances on the pitch have not exactly been Manchester United’s, but they have certainly improved under the new administration. But it’s not just on the field that Rangnick is making an impact.
As we have seen in his short time as United boss, under both Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard, he has not been one to shy away from being honest in interviews. Rangnick has come under some criticism from fans and the media after saying Lingard asked for time off, with the player taking to social media saying it was the club who advised him to take time off.
Many have shared their opinion on this, but as fans, we must side with Rangnick. Too often in the past, with United managers, we have seen two completely different ends of the spectrum. With José Mourinho, his call to certain players, in the end, became too much, and it seemed that his criticism of the players began to seem unnecessary.
Fast-forward to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s tenure, and it looked like the players would get away with it. After the 6-1 win against Tottenham Hotspur, 5-0 against Liverpool, and death by a thousand passes against Man City 2-0; one would think that the players would be subject to strong and legitimate criticism.
But Solskjaer did not utter a single word about his players’ embarrassing performances. Some would call it player protection; others would call it blind loyalty. I stay with the latter.
Rangnick has never been unnecessarily critical, nor has he protected his players when performances have been poor and deserve criticism. The German has struck the perfect balance, and this unfiltered approach is refreshing and exactly what United need in more ways than one.
Rangnick has already shown a balance between the two extreme United managers who preceded him even on the pitch. Under Mourinho, he was incredibly defensive, causing annoyance to many United fans who were used to attacking football. With Solskjaer, it’s a real struggle to even develop a detailed answer as to what exactly his footballing philosophy was.
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Under Rangnick, his teams are compact but not too defensively focused, and while there are tactics, his footballing ideology allows the strikers to express themselves. There is no winger element in Rangnick and slowly but surely he is improving all areas of United.
Rangnick is a straight-talking footballing mastermind who has no time for mischief or politics off the pitch and is solely focused on improving the status of the club. United haven’t had someone like that at the club since Sir Alex Ferguson. Now, this doesn’t mean Rangnick will have the impact that Sir Alex did, but the club has been deprived of a football-focused presence.
It has been a difficult period for United fans since Sir Alex retired. Still, with Rangnick set to remain with the club beyond this season in a consulting role, these could finally be the green shoots of recovery that fans were so desperate to see.
What do you think of Rannick? Follow our United on My Mind trends writer anil kandola on Twitter to join the discussion and let us know your thoughts in the comments section below.