Ralf Rangnick’s tenure as interim manager of Manchester United may not go down in history as a success, but fans will remember him fondly for his no-nonsense approach and choice to defy club precedent.
The German coach arrived with fantastic ideas to heal the club’s fractures, but despite his best efforts, he’s found it exceedingly difficult to implement and make the required changes.
In theory, a manager like Rangnick is exactly what United requires: someone who isn’t afraid to speak harsh truths and who has the authority and experience to confront decisions made above him. The 63-year-old may not be able to walk the walk as well as he talks the talk, but Erik ten Hag will almost surely be able to.
Rangnick is said to be an admirer of the Ajax manager and one of those who praised his credentials as a potential United manager. Time will tell if he can live up to such lofty expectations, but in order to do so, he may learn a crucial lesson from the man he replaces in the Old Trafford dugout.
Rangnick has gotten increasingly vocal as United’s season has deteriorated further. A daring decision in which he jeopardizes his long-term relationship with the club in order to speak his thoughts, but a breath of fresh air for fans who see beyond the customary club jargon of buzzwords and brand image.
After a devastating defeat to Liverpool last week, Rangnick broke his silence to concede that Jürgen Klopp’s side is six years ahead of United,’ going on to say that his squad needs as many as ten new players this summer if they were to make the necessary changes.
There is no denying that United requires a massive overhaul, especially with so many players set to leave for free at the end of the season, but the suggestion that ten players are required seemed like hyperbole, perhaps an exaggeration of the reshuffle that is required to hammer home just how important it is.
Since that defeat at Anfield, United has suffered another defeat at the Emirates, confirming that they would not compete in the Champions League next season.