Ralf Rangnick confirms tactical approach for Manchester United this season
Rangnick confirms Red Devils approach
New Manchester United interim boss Ralf Rangnick has confirmed how he intends his players to operate for the rest of the season and it should come as a shock to no one.
The former football chief at Red Bull took up his new role in the wake of Ole Gunnar Solskjær’s departure after the Norwegian failed to push on from last season’s second-place finish in the Premier League on the back of summer spending that saw the club bring in Cristiano Ronaldo, Jadon Sancho, and Raphaël Varane.
Biggest difference for Man Utd was definitely the positioning of the defensive line. They supported Rangnick’s high pressing by pro-actively stepping out to intercept Palace attacks before they could get started.This is how to defend & build sustained pressure in the modern game. pic.twitter.com/dkhcCOgPQB
— Premier League Panel (@PremLeaguePanel) December 5, 2021
Instead, United regressed this season while leaving little doubt whether or not OGS was the man to push the club forward. Now, Rangnick – the “Godfather of Gegenpressing” who champions a high-octane style of attacking football – will look to implement his tactical ethos at Old Trafford according to the man himself.
When asked in the pre-match build-up tonight against Swiss champions BSC Young Boys, Rangnick was asked if United would keep the same tactical template they used in their 1-0 win against Crystal Palace on Sunday, with the German tactician confirming;
“Well, I would like to see a similar style of football but it’s a different group of players, and I always say the formation and style has a little bit to fit to the players and not vice-versa. So, it might be a little different but overall we still want to be pro-active, always on the front foot…so this is literally our style of football for the next couple of months.”
Plenty of work to be done at Man United
Rangnick’s arrival at Man United comes not a moment too soon after the Red Devils fell well away from the leading pack in the race for Premier League honors this season, but his impact has already been felt since he has rocked up to Old Trafford.
United is currently sitting 11-points adrift of league leaders Manchester City and have already tasted defeat five times this season; the same amount as City, Chelsea, and Liverpool combined.
But the result against Palace, though only by a one-goal margin, still showed the immediate tactical improvements under Rangnick, particularly without the ball and when the Red Devils were instructed to press.
After Solskjær’s departure, United has taken seven points from a possible nine domestically in the three matches since; though Michael Carrick deserves credit for the draw against Chelsea, and the win over Arsenal.
Still, Rangnick has a chance to push the club forward this season and earn a top-four place as they are only trailing West Ham by just three points. And if he successfully can get all his players to buy into his tactical requirements, it is another feather in the cap of one of the most influential football minds of his generation.