The 63-year-old German has enjoyed an impressive enough start to life as Manchester United interim boss, but a spotlight on his training methods has laid bare a potential issue
Ralf Rangnick has already publicly declared his frustration with Manchester United’s current crop of stars after they ignored his tactics for their final Champions League group stage game.
United welcomed Swiss outfit BSC Young Boys to Old Trafford with progression to the knock-out stages of the competition already secured, though a home victory was still very much expected.
Instead, the Red Devils were held to a 1-1 draw, though they did deploy a number of youth players making their debuts – United using six different teenagers over the course of the game, just the second English club to ever do so after Arsenal in 2009.
Mason Greenwood had put United in front on the night, only for Fabian Rieder to pick Donny van de Beek’s pocket and equalise after the Dutchman tried to play out from the back.
HAVE YOUR SAY! How far will Man Utd progress in the Champions League? Comment below
Rangnick had reportedly told his players to try and beat the Young Boys press by going more direct, as he revealed in his post-match comments to BT Sport.
“What was really a little bit annoying was the way that we also gave the goal away, because we played too many balls into the first line of their pressing area,” Rangnick explained.
“And this was also the case with the goal that we conceded. We could have cleared the ball easily and whenever we played the ball into the second or third line, we were always dangerous.
“I told them that before the game but they still played in that situation the ball a five-metre pass and [Young Boys] were just waiting for that ball. It was more or less a pressing invitation that we sent.”
United’s new manager continued: “After we conceded the equaliser we were not defending high enough or pro-active enough.
“If in the end, the score would have been 4-4, then nobody could have complained.
“There were quite a few debuts and game time for players who desperately need game time. I wouldn’t say I was happy but it was okay.”
The former RB Leipzig boss is supposedly famed for ability to transform a sides fortunes courtesy of his tactical prowess and ability to communicate that to an entire squad.
However, on that front the early signs are clearly not good at United, given it has taken him just two games to publicly state his frustration with the players and their inability to follow his instructions.
Despite Rangnick alluding to the fact his players ignored his message, midfielder Scott McTominay has praised his new boss for his clear and concise way of instructing each member of the squad.
“The first early impressions are very, very good,” McTominay told Sky Sports News.
“He’s very firm, very driven and knows what he wants. In meetings he is very clear, that’s the way it is in football.
“To get your point across, you have to be clear and you have to be forceful.
“If players are not doing what you are asking, then he is not shy to tell you as well.
“For us, we are just listening and we are learning. We are wanting to do well for his ideas and what he wants and ultimately win games.
“That’s what him and his coaching staff have come to do – help us win games and keep progressing.”