Ralf Rangnick is drawing wide plaudits for his work in leading the impressive promoted Bundesliga side RB Leipzig.
RB Leipzig is the first newly promoted team to go unbeaten in its first six Bundesliga matches, and it sits pretty in third following Friday’s 2-1 win over Augsburg. The club still has detractors, who are unhappy with its ownership structure, but in an interview manager Ralf Rangnick gave to The Blizzard, published last year, he said: “Football clubs are now businesses, whether you like it or not. Ingolstadt is owned by Audi. The difference between them and us is that their average attendance is 7,000 and ours is almost four times that.”
Rangnick was in the news again this week as he was linked to the vacant England coach’s job. He confirmed a two-hour conversation/interview with FA head of performance Dan Ashworth over the summer, but was told later that the national team wanted an English coach after all. He has had no contact since then, but his stock continues to rise.
RB Leipzig looks like it is here to stay, and the traditionalists need to get used to it. Other clubs could learn from Leipzig's smart recruitment practices (Rangnick signed Joshua Kimmich from Stuttgart Under-19s before he joined Bayern Munich) and of course Rangnick’s impressive style of play, which is based on the fast, pressing approach that has inspired the likes of Jurgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel.
Rangnick is clearly a smart man, and he loves English football after a spell in the late 1970s, when he spent a year abroad at Sussex University as part of his English and PE degree from Stuttgart University. But other than sentiment, the real question has to be: Why he would consider the poisoned chalice that is the England coach’s job?