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    Ralf Rangnick warned he faces giant task to turn Man Utd’s season around after awful start by Class of 92 legends

    RALF RANGNICK has been tipped to lead Manchester United into the Prem’s top four.But Class of ’92 stars Gary Neville, Nicky Butt, Phil Neville and Ryan Giggs have warned the incoming interim-boss of the giant job that awaits him.
    Ralf Rangnick is Man Utd’s new interim manager
    Members of Man Utd’s ‘Class of ’92’ are tipping Rangnick to keep the club in the top four
    Caretaker Michael Carrick remains in the hot seat for tonight’s home game against Arsenal as Rangnick still does not have the work permit required to take up his Old Trafford post.
    But Gary Neville believes the 63-year-old German inherits a “disconnected and disjointed” team that is someway short of the Champions League spots.
    Butt reckons the players must drive the standards rather than Rangnick, who takes over from the axed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer during the hectic winter period with limited coaching time.
    Eight-time Premier League winner Gary Neville, 46, said: “We’re 12 points behind Chelsea, it’s been a terrible start to the season and the manager has lost his job.
    “For Ralf Rangnick, to finish in the top four would be a successful season.
    “If we could win the FA Cup that would be incredible.

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    “He has to somehow get those players, who have looked so disconnected and disjointed in the last two or three months, sorted straight away.
    “They have lost all their confidence, haven’t really got a system of play and are not very good defensively.
    “He’s got a big job to do but top four has to be the target for him this season.”
    Butt won six league titles with United, including the glorious Treble-winning season of 1999 under Sir Alex Ferguson.
    The former midfielder, 46, said: “I was fortunate to play with amazing players and we drove ourselves. We knew the standard needed to be high.
    “We’d take the can for each other and we’d understand we would have to pull ourselves out of the dungeon to get up to the top. We’d be calling each other out.
    “The manager sets the tone but it’s up to the players to manage that day-to-day.
    “You can’t ask a manager to help you get on a pitch, give your all, work hard and do what is expected of a Man United player.
    Rangnick’s got to get the confidence back in the team and start winning and competing again against teams above them like Liverpool, Chelsea and CityPhil NevilleOn Rangnick
    “The players have to look at themselves before the manager.
    “The challenge for Rangnick is to put the belief in the players and say, ‘Come on, it’s time you stepped up to the plate and manage yourselves’.
    “You’ve got World Cup winners in the dressing room, players who have won things, big superstars and they should be able now to demand off each other.
    “It’s difficult for a new manager to come in at this time of the season.”
    Former Red Devils defender Phil Neville, 44, added: “The expectation at Manchester United is always to win and that’s probably what cost Ole his job.
    “Rangnick’s got to get the confidence back in the team and start winning and competing again against teams above them like Liverpool, Chelsea and City.
    “This is Manchester United. He has to compete, win trophies and get to cup finals and that will mean United are successful.”
    It was a sad day when he left but it was a day everyone expectedNicky ButtOn Solskjaer Getting Sacked
    Brother Gary added: “Lingard, Pogba, Rashford, Greenwood, McTominay have come through the development path.
    “Ole had belief in the young players but the problem for United is the senior players in the dressing room aren’t as good as the ones we had to look up to.
    “I look at the other clubs, they have Henderson, Van Dijk, Salah and Alisson at Liverpool, really strong players. Chelsea have Thiago Silva, Jorginho and Lukaku and they are really experienced, whereas Manchester United do not have a strong group of experienced players yet.
    “Cristiano Ronaldo and Raphael Varane have only just come in.
    “If they can get them together then there is an opportunity for those young players to grow.”
    The Class of ’92, speaking on a live stream with ZujuGP’s Facebook page, played alongside Ole but agreed he had to go.
    Butt said: “It was a sad day when he left but it was a day everyone expected.”
    Giggs said: “We’re Manchester United and we expect to be competing for the Premier League.
    “A few games in and we’re not doing that. Unfortunately, it had to come towards an end.”
    Solskjaer was sacked as Man Utd manager after being spanked 4-1 by Watford
    ⚽ Read our Manchester United live blog for the latest news and transfer gossip from Old Trafford More

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    ‘He had the balls to do it’ – Sir Alex Ferguson reveals why Bryan Robson was ‘easily’ best Man Utd captain he ever had

    MANCHESTER UNITED legend Sir Alex Ferguson has revealed Bryan Robson was his greatest captain – be cause he ‘had the balls’ to stand up to him.Steve Bruce, Eric Cantona, Roy Keane, Gary Neville and Nemanja Vidic all led Fergie’s teams during some real glory years at Old Trafford.
    Sir Alex Ferguson joined a host of club legends to celebrate the release of a film about the legendary Bryan Robson
    Fergie has described Robson as ‘easily the best captain I had’
    But Robson stands out as the most inspired of leaders according to the most decorated manager of all time.
    Speaking at a Q&A session to promote a new film about the classy midfielder, Fergie explained: “He was easily the best captain I had. I think over the period he was at United, he was the best player.
    “The players loved him. They responded to him and he was the longest-serving captain in my time anyway.
    “It’s difficult for a captain because sometimes he has to tell the truth to players, you know?
    “The encouragement he’s got to give them sometimes can be quite volatile and he was like that, but the players did love him.

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    “They appreciated the time he took on them and another thing, he’s the only captain I knew who could make a decision on the pitch. He didn’t need to look over to me.
    “He would do that and that’s unusual. In fact it’s very unusual because he had the balls to do that.”
    A host of United legends turned out in the city on Thursday night for the ‘Robbo: The Bryan Robson Story’ premiere.
    And that led to legendary ex manager Ferguson coming face to face with current interim boss Michael Carrick.
    Ralf Rangnick is set to take charge of the Red Devils until the end of the season following Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s sacking.
    CAPTAIN MARVEL
    But Carrick has already led United to a vital victory over Villareal in the Champions League and he was still in a jovial mood at the HOME Cinema in Manchester on Thursday.
    The legion of stars were out to catch their first glimpse of the upcoming documentary about United and England icon Robson.
    Their former captain, now aged 64, spent 13 years at Old Trafford during his epic playing career, winning a host of honours before departing to take charge of Middlesbrough in 1994.
    Now Captain Marvel’s stunning contribution to the success of Fergie will be shown on screen when the documentary hits Netflix, Amazon Prime and Rakuten on November 29.
    Ferguson has actually said that Robson was his greatest ever player
    ⚽ Read our Manchester United live blog for the latest news and transfer gossip from Old Trafford
    This week’s Maverick Monday is Manchester United hero Bryan Robson More

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    Man Utd boss Ralf Rangnick had wheel of fortune at Leipzig with forfeits like making stars train in a ballerina’s tutu

    MAN UTD’S new boss Ralf Rangnick was a disciplinarian at previous club RB Leipzig, where he had a wheel of fortune containing forfeits for disobeying stars.The German manager, 63, was finally confirmed as Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s successor this week, and will join the club as interim manager before staying on as a consultant for a further two years.
    Man Utd’s stars could play Ralf Rangnick’s wheel of forfeits if they behave badly
    Ralf Rangnick’s wheel of misfortune with 12 forfeits from his time at RB Leipzig
    And it could mean that Red Devils stars Harry Maguire and Cristiano Ronaldo might face punishments like training in a ballerina’s tutu or working in the club shop, if they step out of line.
    Rangnick came up the idea after scrapping fines believing a professional footballer’s time is more valuable than money.
    He said in 2018: “Fines rarely bring anything. It hurts the players more when they have less time.”
    And his assistant Jesse Marsch mentioned the idea of a wheel with he had picked up from America.
    The concept is simple; spin the wheel and await your forfeit. There are 12 outcomes – 11 bad, and one ‘Get out of jail free’ card.
    Here’s the 12 outcomes on Ralf’s dreaded wheel.
    1. Pump up the balls, get them on the pitch, clean them
    For 30 minutes per day for a week, this task will see a player having to make sure balls are pumped up and ready to use.
    Better still, they’ve got to be spotless.
    Footballs will have to be pumped up by misbehaving starsCredit: Getty
    2. Train an academy team
    An essential part of United’s success has been through their kids.
    If a player lands on this, they will have to train one of the academy teams for four hours when they have a free day.
    3. Stadium tour guide
    It would be your lucky day, if you were a supporter and Ronaldo was showing you around Old Trafford.
    But, should a star misbehave they will have to act as a tour guide for the Theatre of Dreams for one hour.
    Players will have to act as tour guide at Old Trafford if they step out of line with RangnickCredit: Getty
    4. Get Lucky
    View it as a get out of jail free card.
    Should a player spin and fall on this, they will face absolutely no punishment and will be counting their lucky stars.
    5. Mow and take care of training pitch
    As you can expect, the pitches at Carrington are perfectly manicured.
    This task would see a player assisting the groundsman in mowing the grass and tending to the training areas for four to six hours within a training week.
    Groundsman at Carrington will be assisted in looking after training pitches by naughty starsCredit: Rex

    6. Wear a tutu
    Possibly the worst on the list and most embarrassing.
    Play up in front of Rangnick, and you’ll be forced to wear a pink ballerina’s tutu for 90 minutes at training.
    7. Fill water bottles
    Rehydration is crucial to athletes when it comes to training.
    This forfeit would mean the naughty player will have to mix drinks ahead of training and fill water bottles for 20 minutes per day for the whole week.
    Filling water bottles for team mates is one of Rangnick’s forfeits on his wheel of fortuneCredit: Getty
    8. Club shop assistant
    Here’s a punishment you wouldn’t want to face during the festive period.
    This would see a player having to work as an assistant at the Manchester United’s Megastore for three hours.
    9. Serve food in team cafe and clean tables
    For 30 minutes per day, a star would have to serve his team mates their dinner cooked by the chef.
    Worse still, he would be expected to clean up after them when they’ve finished.
    Cristiano Ronaldo might be serving up club team mates their dinner, if he misbehavesCredit: Getty
    10. Work as a kit assistant
    Again, not a glam job for a well-paid United star.
    This task would see someone have to take care of dirty shirts, and make sure boots are clean for 30 minutes per day.
    11. Load the team bus
    Man Utd have an amazing team bus, worth £400,000. So, you can imagine you can get a lot of stuff in it.
    And that would be expected of you, if you mess Ralf about.
    For an hour and a half on an away day, you’d have to load the bus with bags.
    Players may have to load up the team bus if they cross RangnickCredit: Getty
    12. Buy gifts for staff
    With the salaries United players are on, this won’t dent their wages too much.
    But, land on this one and you’ll have to buy small gifts for up to 60 members of staff.
    So, will Rangnick enforce his wheel of forfeits on United’s stars?
    Time will tell if you see Paul Pogba training in a tutu.
    Ralf Rangnick’s Man Utd appointment slammed as Souness says he doesn’t get it ‘on any level’ More

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    Man Utd boss Ralf Rangnick dealt early blow as trusty No2 Lars Kornetka REJECTS chance to join him at Old Trafford

    RALF RANGNICK has been dealt an early blow as Manchester United boss as his trusty No2 rejected the chance to join him.The former RB Leipzig boss was confirmed as the Red Devils’ interim gaffer until the end of the season.
    Lars Kornetka has decided against joining Ralf Rangnick at Manchester UnitedCredit: PA
    But his hopes of bolstering his staff with Lars Kornetka were dashed.
    Rangnick and Kornetka have worked together since 2007 with the new United boss describing his assistant as ‘the best video analyst we have in Germany’.
    It was even reported by the New York Times that the pair had set up a consultancy firm together.
    Lokomotiv Moscow confirmed on Monday night Kornetka is staying with the Russian club – and stepping up to become head of sports and development, the role vacated by Rangnick.
    A statement said: “The well-known German specialist Lars Kornetka will take over the position of the Head of Sports and Development of FC Lokomotiv.
    “Ralf Rangnick, who held this position earlier, has joined Manchester United as head coach.

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    “Lars Kornetka is long-term partner, follower of ideas and adherent of Ralph Rangnick’s football philosophy.
    “Since 2007, the specialist has actively collaborated with him at Hoffenheim, Schalke 04 and RB Leipzig.
    “Lars specialises in statistical football analysis, assessment of players’ skills, including advanced video analytics, as well as scouting, focused primarily on finding promising young football players, and an objective assessment of their future capabilities.”
    Rangnick has forged a sterling reputation as the pioneer of gegenpressing and has influenced the likes of Thomas Tuchel, Jurgen Klopp and Julian Nagelsmann with his methods.
    However, it looks set to be Michael Carrick in charge for one final game on Thursday night when Arsenal head to the Theatre of Dreams for a crunch clash in the top-four race.
    That is because Rangnick’s visa issues are still unresolved.
    Sky Sports state the new manager is already in England having arrived before new Covid travel rules came into place.
    But Rangnick will have to face an FA-appointed independent panel to get a work permit for his new job.
    Because he has not had enough managerial jobs over the last five years, instead taking on director roles like the one at Lokomotiv, he does not meet the criteria from the Home Office by default.
    ⚽ Read our Manchester United live blog for the latest news and transfer gossip from Old Trafford
    A United source told the Mail last night: “We are working calmly and carefully to secure a visa for Ralf in line with all relevant regulations and protocols.
    “These are processes which have to be followed and we are doing so as swiftly as possible.”
    Carrick, as well as Kieran McKenna and Mike Phelan, WILL remain on United’s staff even after Rangnick takes over.
    Ralf Rangnick’s Man Utd appointment slammed as Souness says he doesn’t get it ‘on any level’ More

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    Man Utd boss Ralf Rangnick blocked from gaining automatic visa as recent manager work falls below required level

    NEW Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick will have to face an FA-appointed independent panel to get a work permit for his new job.Because he has not had enough managerial jobs over the last five years, he does not meet the criteria from the Home Office by default.
    Ralf Rangnick will not be in the dugout for the game against ArsenalCredit: Getty
    So, according to The Telegraph, the 63-year-old’s case will be heard by a panel who will have to fast-track the application.
    Rangnick has held various director-type roles in the past five years, his latest with Russian side Locomotiv Moscow.
    He was announced as the man to replace Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who was sacked after the dismal 4-1 defeat at Watford.
    The German, hailed for his tactical nous, has agreed a six month ‘interim’ role, with him taking a two-year consultancy position after this.
    But Michael Carrick is continuing to lead training and matches until Rangnick can officially start his new job.
    And Carrick will be in the dugout for United’s mouthwatering clash against Arsenal on Thursday.

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    However, fans were convinced that Rangnick was in contact with Darren Fletcher over the phone during Sunday’s 1-1 draw with Chelsea.
    But United claimed the Scot was merely talking to video analysts.
    Rangnick’s work permit delay has been worsened by stricter Covid regulations introduced yesterday.
    A club source told the Mail last night: “We are working calmly and carefully to secure a visa for Ralf in line with all relevant regulations and protocols.
    “These are processes which have to be followed and we are doing so as swiftly as possible.”
    NO RANGNICK COMPENSATION
    Carrick, as well as Kieran McKenna and Mike Phelan, WILL remain on United’s staff.
    Rangnick will be able to add a few staff members of his own – although video analyst Lars Kornetka will remain at Lokomotiv Moscow.

    United are thankful towards the Russian club, after they didn’t receive a penny in compensation for Rangnick.
    That doesn’t mean that the Red Devils haven’t forked out at all on the appointment, however, with Rangnick’s £8m-a-year more than Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was earning.
    ⚽ Read our Manchester United live blog for the latest news and transfer gossip from Old Trafford
    Man Utd CONFIRM Ralf Rangnick appointment as interim manager on six-month contract until end of the season More

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    Sir Alex Ferguson tipped seven Man Utd kids for stardom, like Darren Fletcher to Luke Chadwick and what happened next

    SIR ALEX FERGUSON is one of the greatest football managers of all time.From being one game from the sack at Old Trafford to transforming the club into a real European heavyweight, Fergie’s tenure will go down in history.
    Sir Alex Ferguson tipped big things from a few players who never quite reached that levelCredit: Reuters
    But the great man did make one or two mistakes along the way.
    From signing the likes of Bebe, Eric Djemba Djemba  and Gabriel Obertan to the infamous David Beckham boot-kicking episode, there were some colourful times during his 26 years at the club.
    After winning the Premier League in 2001, the boss was full of beans for the future.
    Fergie tipped seven youngsters from the United youth team that he predicted were destined for greatness.
    He said: “Darren Fletcher, who we hope will get over his broken leg, is good. Michael Stewart and Luke Chadwick are doing very well, and John O’Shea’s doing well too.
    “There’s a young left-back called Paul Tierney who’s doing well, as is Danny Pugh.

    “But there’s a young boy who has started now, he’s 16, called Kieran Richardson. He’s going to be a fantastic player.”
    Some lived up to his billing but sadly others failed to make the grade. We take a look at who was a hit and who missed the mark.John O’Shea
    Mr Versatile, O’Shea even played in goal during his time with United.
    Far from being a flop, O’Shea featured 256 times for the club between 1999 and 2011.
    The Irishman moved on to Sunderland where he captained the Mackems, but couldn’t stop their slide down the leagues.
    O’Shea joined Reading for one season in 2018 before retiring and joining their backroom staff, where he is currently first team coach.
    John O’Shea went on to have a decent Man Utd career without ever really bossing itCredit: Empics
    Darren Fletcher
    A capable midfielder who perhaps never got the credit he deserved for his workmanlike performances in the middle of the park.
    Incredibly the Scot managed to play at the top level while suffering from a serious bowel condition.
    He won five Premier League titles as well as the Champions League during his 342 appearances in 11 years for United.
    Fletcher went on to play for West Brom and Stoke before retiring at the age of 36. Now, he’s technical director at Old Trafford.
    Darren Fletcher did his job without too much fuss, and went on to become a Scotland internationalCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd
    Luke Chadwick
    Once talked about as Beckham’s successor, it’s fair to say Chadwick failed to live up to even half of that billing.
    He did feature 38 times in United’s first-team, but that mostly came in cup competitions and coming off the bench.
    Chadwick went on to play for West Ham, Stoke, Norwich, MK Dons and Cambridge United before dropping into non-league to finish his career with Soham Town Rangers.
    The 40-year-old is now coaching in Cambridge’s academy but hit headlines after revealing his sadness at being mocked on the BBC quiz show They Think It’s All Over – earning an apology from presenters Nick Hancock and Gary Lineker.
    Luke Chadwick never quite filled David Beckham’s boots at Old TraffordCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd
    Kieran Richardson
    Fergie described how Richardson would go on to become ‘a fantastic player’.
    Like O’Shea and Fletcher, Richardson can look back on a pretty successful career, even making eight England appearances and scoring twice.
    He made 81 appearances for United between 2002 and 2007, and went on to play for Sunderland, Fulham, Aston Villa and Cardiff.
    Kieran Richardson never really made it at Old Trafford, but did make eight England appearancesCredit: News Group Newspapers Ltd
    Danny Pugh
    Pugh had the honour of making his debut for United when he replaced the legend that is Ruud van Nistelrooy in a Champions League game against Maccabi Haifa in 2002.
    But he went on to feature only another six times before being shipped out to Leeds as part of the deal that took Alan Smith to Old Trafford.
    Pugh also played for Preston, Stoke, a second spell with Leeds before floating down the leagues.
    He last coached at Port Vale after finishing his playing career with the club, leaving in his position in May.
    Danny Pugh spent most of his career outside England’s top flight after leaving UnitedCredit: Action Images
    Michael Stewart
    A defensive midfielder in the time when Roy Keane was bossing the opposition as well as the dressing room, Stewart was always going to find it difficult to break through.
    The Scot made eight appearances for United between 1998 and 2005 before being moved on to Hibs permanently.
    He joined their great rivals Hearts in 2007 where he stayed for three season, before a spell with Genclerbirligi in Turkey and his career ended in 2011 after a nine-game stint at Charlton.
    Capped four times by Scotland, he later applied to be a candidate for the Scottish National Party in the 2015 general election – but failed to secure the nomination.
    Michael Stewart had the small matter of Roy Keane to try and displace from the midfield spotCredit: Eddie Keogh
    Paul Tierney
    After shining at youth levels at United, Tierney made only ONE first-team appearance – in the League Cup against West Brom in 2003.
    The right-back joined up with Scottish side Livingston in 2005 but was flogged on to Blackpool when they were relegated from the Scottish Premiership.
    After a loan spell with Stockport, he was released by the Seasiders. Tierney ended his career with a three-game stint with Altincham.
    Paul Tierney made a solitary appearance for United in the League Cup before moving to Livingston in 2005Credit: Getty Images – Getty
    Van de Beek can’t catch a break as tunnel cam shows Man Utd flop bumping into coach and spilling his tea on him More

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    Solskjaer watched Man Utd’s win over Villarreal and was ‘absolutely buzzing’ at fans for chanting his name

    OLE GUNNAR SOLSKJAER was ‘absolutely buzzing’ as Manchester United fans chanted his name during Tuesday’s win over Villarreal.Despite being sacked just two days earlier, the Norwegian sat down to watch his former players take on the Europa League champions.
    Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s name was chanted during Manchester United’s win over VillarrealCredit: Getty
    Jadon Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo were on target in the 2-0 win in SpainCredit: Rex
    Cristiano Ronaldo and Jadon Sancho got the all-important goals as United booked their place in the last 16.
    And even though Michael Carrick took temporary charge, the supporters in Spain still made a conscious effort to give the dismissed gaffer a respectful send-off.
    According to journalist Andy Mitten, this had a deep impact on Solskjaer as he took in the action.
    And the classy former striker sent public and private messages of support to the Red Devils players and Carrick before the crunch tie.
    Solskjaer said: “As I’ve said to them this morning as well, trust yourselves, you know we’re better than this.
    “We’ve not been able to show it but go out, chest out, enjoy being a Manchester United player, in the Champions League, on the biggest stage.

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    “If and when you win the game, you’re through to the next round, Michael is going to be in charge.
    “Michael, I have the utmost respect [for], I love Michael to bits. I’m becoming emotional now because he’s top.
    “They’ll be fine. I’ll watch them and support them.”
    In response, Carrick dedicated the victory to his ex-boss.
    He said: “I enjoyed it. It’s not been an easy couple of days for everyone at the club and I can enjoy it so much.
    “But it feels like that result is for Ole and I can’t get away from that.
    “We had a job to do and thankfully it all went to plan.”
    Carrick looks set to stay in charge for Sunday’s trip to Chelsea before Ralf Rangnick takes over as interim boss until the end of the season.
    After that, the Red Devils will appoint a permanent successor to Solskjer, with Mauricio Pochettino and Brendan Rodgers among the favourites.
    ⚽ Read our Manchester United live blog for the latest news and transfer gossip from Old Trafford
    Solskjaer fights back tears in emotional first interview since Man Utd axe More

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    Who is Ralf Rangnick? Interim Man Utd manager whose football tactics inspired Jurgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel

    MANCHESTER UNTED have agreed a deal to appoint Ralf Rangnick as their interim manager.The German, 63, will sign a six-month contract with the Red Devils, after the club sacked beleaguered Norwegian boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
    Ralf Rangnick is the new interim manager at Manchester UnitedCredit: AFP
    Rangnick has been a big influence on the career of Jurgen KloppCredit: Rex
    Rangnick is recognised as a true-visionary of the game and comes with a hefty reputation in his homeland, which United will hope to cash in on.
    He is said to have inspired Premier League bosses Jurgen Klopp, Thomas Tuchel and Bayern Munich supremo Julian Nagelsman with his tactics.
    Nicknamed ‘The Professor’, he was one of the pioneers of Gegenpressing, a style of play where teams immediately press the opposition after losing possession of the ball.
    His influence has been felt in the modern game, with many teams adopting his philosophy.
    STARTING YOUNG
    Incredibly, Rangnick began his coaching career when he was just 25 in 1983, following a mediocre semi-pro career.
    But his theories were against trend – with the national team adopting a rigid 3-5-2 system and man-marking.

    And to be fair, West Germany tasted success playing that way – winning the 1990 World Cup, after finishing runners-up four years earlier.
    But Ralf had his own ideas how the beautiful game should be played.
    In 1997, he scored his first job at lowly Ulm 1846, who would become fourth division champions with him at the helm.
    In 1998, Rangnick appeared on German TV to explain his football ideologyCredit: Getty
    A year later, he appeared on German TV donning a black suit and shirt revealing his footballing thesis.
    The German media nicknamed him the ‘German Professor’, probably unfairly and with derision.
    He was ridiculed for his geeky look and rimless glasses, while his methods weren’t embraced with teams favouring German legend Franz Beckenbauer’s sweeper approach.
    “The reaction from the media as well as others in football was extraordinary,” Rangnick told ESPN.
    “The main reason for this was that 30 years before, Franz Beckenbauer set the benchmark for most teams in our country when he created a libero-sweeper position for himself.
    “Franz himself even said in the mid-’90s that you cannot play with a zone-marking back four line because German players will not understand how to play it.
    “I asked myself, why should German players be any less intelligent than those in Belgium, Spain or the Netherlands? For me that was simply not logical.”
    GEGENPRESSING
    At the forefront of Rangnick’s belief was what later became coined as Gegenpressing, which itself was a spin off of iconic Ukrainian manager Valeriy Lobanovskyi’s pressing game.
    It’s a tactic that made Jurgen Klopp follow his lead with his own brand of ‘heavy-metal football’.
    Pioneer Rangnick has been credited for creating GegenpressingCredit: AFP
    The Liverpool boss also declared Rangnick as “one of the best, if not the best German coach”.
    Of Gegenpressing, Rangnick describes it as “very simple”.
    He continues: “[Gegenpressing is] a very proactive style of football, similar to the way in which Borussia Dortmund and Liverpool have been playing under Klopp.
    “We like to press high, with a very intense counter-pressure. When we have the ball, we do not like any square or back passes.
    “The goalkeeper also should not be the one with the most contact on the ball. In almost every league and every country, the goalkeeper is technically the most limited football player on the pitch and therefore we have to make sure that he has the lowest contact with the feet.
    “It is a fast, proactive, attacking, counter-attacking, counter-pressing, exciting and entertaining [style of] football.”
    SUCCESS
    From 2001-2004, Rangnick coached at Hannover, who he got promoted to the Bundesliga.
    Then, after missing out on an assistant manager role for the national team working under Joachim Low, he scored the Schalke job.
    It was a season of what could’ve been for Meister der Herzen, who finished runners-up in the Bundesliga to Bayern Munich.
    At Schalke Rangnick finished Bundesliga runners-up and lost a cup final to Bayern Munich
    Despite being championed for his footballing philosophy, major trophies have evaded him as bossCredit: Getty
    They also lost the German cup final to their rivals in 2005.
    But forever enjoying being the underdog, Rangnick took on the Hoffenheim post in 2006, once he was fired by Schalke after a string of disastrous results.
    It was where he, perhaps, achieved his greatest moment as a coach – taking a team from the third division to the Bundesliga with back-to-back promotions.
    He left the club in a healthy state in the German top flight, before returning to Schalke where he felt he had unfinished business.
    He won the German cup, led the club to the Champions League semi-finals, before exhaustion saw him resign in 2011.
    A NEW PROJECT
    Rangnick took a sabbatical from the dugout, but got involved in a new project – one that saw him oversee Red Bull teams, Leipzig, Salzburg and New York as a sporting director of the company.
    Under his leadership, the club – bankrolled by billionaire Dietrich Mateschitz – controversially went from division four to the Bundesliga in just six years.
    German fans didn’t like it, especially since it went against the 50+1 ownership business model. But Leipzig fans didn’t care.
    In his time with the unfashionable side, Leipzig became a top four team, as well as Champions League regulars.
    Rangnick did return to the dugout sporadically with the club, between 2015-16 and 2018-19, but he preferred his more advisory role.
    With his work done, he moved on again – with reports that AC Milan were desperate to have his influence on their football operations.
    Rangnick has been credited with leading the RB Leipzig revolutionCredit: AFP or licensors
    RB Leipzig were promoted from the fourth division to the Bundesliga in just six years under Rangnick’s leadershipCredit: Getty – Contributor
    After his miracle with RB Leipzig, could Rangnick (pictured with Timo Werner) be the answer to Man Utd’s prayersCredit: Getty – Contributor

    Surprisingly, Rangnick joined Russian Premier League side Lokomotiv Moscow as manager of sports and development last summer on a three-year deal.
    But the lure of fixing Manchester United is too much to ignore.
    Could Ralf’s Midas touch help restore the fallen giants to former glory?
    RB Leipzig director Ralf Rangnick runs on the pitch at half time against Bayern Munich, to dispute bad call using his phone More