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Who Is Ralf Ragnick And Why He Gives Manchester United A Safe Pair Of Hands To Take The Wheel: Comparisons To Jurgen Klopp And Liverpool

We take a look at why the former RB Leipzig sporting director could well be the man to change Manchester United for the better and at comparisons to the structure Liverpool have in place under similar owners. 

Ralf Rangnik takes over Manchester United for the first time today, but who is he and what to expect to see once he gets his philosophy installed?


The former RB Leipzig sporting director is known for his style 'Gegenpress', which managers such as Jurgen Klopp, Thomas Tuchel and Julian Nagelsmen have taken to the highest of levels, who he mentored earlier on in his career. 

This is a high intense press off the ball and fast, forward thinking football when on the ball. This way of playing makes it extremely difficult for opposition teams to play football, getting in their faces all over the pitch with everyone pressing together as a team. Like a pack of lions, working together to take down their prey. 

Ralf Rangnik

When on the ball, it's about getting the ball forward in quickly, through fluid link up play, many players getting forward and a lot of diversion runs. Liverpool use full-backs Trent Alexander-Arnold as part of their attacking play than their defensive play, which allows plenty of options going forward and creates more space for others.

Rangnik will aim to do the same with Manchester United, with full-backs going forward, which creates a problem with Aaron Wan-Bissaka as he isn't the best at attacking. 

Regarding the pressing off the ball, Manchester United already have a couple of players that would fit in perfectly surprisingly including Fred. Rangnik could get the best out of Fred and we could see the Brazilian finally getting played correctly. 

Structure Comparisons To Liverpool

As well as the style of football, Ralf Rangnik will also bring a very similar structure to Manchester United that Jurgen Klopp brought to Liverpool. Jurgen Klopp has instilled his style of play throughout the entire club, from the youth team up.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer said himself he would promote and develop youth players, which he didn't. Rangnik however, will stand by his words and show it in actions. You will see the likes of Amad Diallo given deserved opportunities and also real development to players such as Mason Greenwood and Marcus Rashford. 

The former Leipzig director, like Jurgen Klopp, will have his style of play and only want players to suit his style of play. When it comes to transfers, scouts will be searching for players that can fit into the style of play Manchester United will be playing. This has worked wonders at Liverpool, with Liverpool fans now never questioning who we buy. 

Jurgen Klopp instructs his side

The Glazers and FSG are very much alike and only care about what money they make rather than the football club itself. Glazers have finally done what FSG got right years ago and that is employing proper footballing people underneath them. Rangnik will not only be changing the football on the pitch but also the way the club is ran in the background. 

When he leaves his manager post, he will go upstairs into a consultancy role overseeing the club's everyday running behind the scenes. He will also have a huge say to which manager comes in to replace him and will want a manager that will continue to use his style of play. 

Speaking in an interview with CV Live, Rangnik spoke of his admiration of Liverpool's coaching staff and how they have changed the Liverpool players to create a winning formula.

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"Let's have a look a close look at Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp. If you look at their development and let's have just have a close look at their three strikers. 

"They have Mo Salah, they have Roberto Firmino and they have Sadio Mane, three foreign players from three different countries and all them, two of them I had myself, Firmino was my last signing for Hoffenheim. I can tell you, all those three players, including Mo Salah, when they came to Europe, none were natural born winners. None of them.

"They were not the kind of players where everybody said wow, they are pressing machines. So all the things that happened to Liverpool was the job of the coach and the coaching staff.

"The way they played for the last three or four years, on that high level, this intense kind of football, was the job of the coach. This shows you what is possible and what can happen if a coach with a mindset and a clear idea of how his team should play, what can happen."

Who Will Flourish Under Rangnik And Who Will Struggle?

Fred could be one player that Man United fans change their opinions on. He is a player that gives his all on the pitch but has been let down by poor coaching in recent years. 

Donny Van Der Beek, the most mistreated player I have seen in a long time. Manchester United brought him in when he was a player that was wanted around Europe. The lack of game time and chances that he got under Ole has ruined his development. However, Rangnik can revitalise the Dutch midfielders career. 

Jadon Sancho will thrive under Rangnik. Coming from Dortmund, who play with a similar style, he will walk straight into this team and will be a key part to Rangnik's plans.

Jadon Sancho

Aaron Wan-Bissaka will not suit Rangnik's style. He is very poor going forward and will be exposed in a style that expects the full-backs to get forward and make an impact.

Marcus Rashford is a tricky one. He has been one of the best players for United in recent years under a counter attacking style of football that suits his speed and ability to run into space. He will need serious development in order to fit into this new style, which will be interesting to see how he repsonds.

The tip I can give Manchester United fans is be patient.

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