Manchester United could easily abandon their reported plan to install Mauricio Pochettino as their permanent manager if Ralf Rangnick becomes makes a success of his role as interim boss.
The Red Devils have brought in the wily German coach to oversee a bright new future. His first game in the dugout comes on Sunday when Crystal Palace come to Old Trafford looking to spoil the party. However, after an upturn in fortunes of late, hopes will burn bright that Rangnick can quickly get a tune from United’s multi-talented squad.
While United have not made public their aims for Rangnick, it is pretty clear that a top-four finish will be his No 1 priority. Any sort of trophy success would be a bonus, though the Champions League and FA Cup look their only feasible paths.
Rangnick’s contract is initial a two-and-a-half-year deal. Publicly, United plan to give him an advisory role from the summer, once his time in charge of first-team affairs is brought to a halt.
However, Danny Mills is adamant that Rangnick could secure the managerial role on a long-term basis. And should he achieve his objectives, the pundit claims United could abandon their plans to bring in Pochettino from PSG.
“I think having him in as a technical director or a director of football is brilliant,” Mills told Football Insider.
“Whether that’s going to work as a coach in the short-term is going to be very interesting.
Rangnick has clear philosophy
“He’s got a certain philosophy that he sticks by and there are one or two players at Manchester United who don’t necessarily fit into that style and that’s going to make things difficult.
“He likes to get the ball back quickly, it’s high press, it’s very organised. That all takes time. It’s not like he’s coming into a team that has done that for ages. They’ve also lost their way a little bit. This is a team that doesn’t do that.
“He’s going to get an awful lot of information across and make sure it’s right without a long time on the training ground. That’s going to be his hardest job.
“You assume he will then pick a manager who plays a similar style. A lot of different managers have been mentioned. Pochettino was the favourite and maybe that’s not the case.”
Discussing the possibility of Rangnick taking charge for the long haul, Mills insists that is a creditable option.
“What if Rangnick does really well? Will he want to go upstairs? Will Man United want him to go upstairs and into a different role?
“It’s a really turbulent time for Manchester United and it’s a really great opportunity for some of these players to show a new manager what they can do.”
De Gea told he’s finished at Man Utd
David De Gea has been told that his time as a United player may quickly come to an end with the player likely to struggle with a major tactical change brought about by Rangnick.
Rangnick is likely to bring about a huge change of style at United. Known as the Godfather of the Gegenpress, the 63-year-old is already starting to make an impact – and it all begins on the training field.
As such, a report last week revealed how Rangnick plans to introduce a ‘countdown clock’ to United’s training.
Under Rangnick’s plans, he will install an ‘eight-second rule’ at Carrington. This requires players to win the ball within eight seconds before producing a shot on goal within 10 seconds of successfully reclaiming possession.
Players will also be able to hear the countdown clock during their drills. The plan for which will increase intensity and produce quick results.
The change is likely to hugely shake-up United’s training sessions in the extreme.
Now, in highlighting his midweek mistake against Arsenal and for his inability to play ‘sweeper keeper’, Trevor Sinclair suggests his time could be up.
“With Ralf [Rangnick] coming in, wanting to play a high line, I think he’s going to have to be sweeper keeper.
“So De Gea’s time at Man United is probably going to end quite shortly.”
He continued: “For me, that’s a little acid test, how big’s your heart? And he’s let them down.”