It seems safe to state that the arrival of Ralf Rangnick at Manchester United has been met with both optimism and excitement by the vast majority of the club’s fans.
After the disastrous final weeks of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s time as manager, much is expected of an idealist who is seen by many observers as one of the most influential thinkers in the modern game.
With his working visa issues now resolved, the 63-year-old will finally take charge of United as they take on Crystal Palace this weekend.
And, as covered in a revealing interview on the official Man United site, Rangnick has today opened up about his vision for the current squad.
One of the new manager’s first priorities is to impose order on a team that has too often appeared shambolic in recent months.
He says, “In football it’s all about control…If you want to win games you have to have control, no matter if the other team has got the ball or you are in possession of the ball yourself.
“This is probably one of the major targets in the next couple of weeks, to help the team to have control on the game, and at least against the top teams in the last couple of weeks.”
However, the Reds’ new coach is realistic about how much can be achieved during a hectic schedule that allows precious little time for hands-on training.
“On the other hand, we won’t have that much training time, because we play every three days,” Rangnick says.
“So it’s about video footage, using video material as an important tool to develop the team, train the brains and at the same time encourage the players to do the right things.”
United fans might then need to be patient before they get to see the kind of high-pressing, exciting attacking football for which the German is renowned.
Rangnick himself realises that, first and foremost, the prosaic businesses of getting positive results will come before the greater ambitions of changing the team’s philosophy.
On this, he says, “I think it’s important to win games in the first instance, and then step by step develop the team in the right direction.”
A note of caution then to end an enticing glimpse at the possibilities awaiting United’s fan base. One thing’s for sure though – it promises to be a bold new era for the club.