Rangnick is highly regarded after his managerial stints at his native clubs of Schalke 04, Hoffenheim and most notably RB Leipzig, comes to Manchester from his role behind the scenes at Russian club Lokomotiv Moscow. After finalising his paperwork, due to which he was unable to take the helm for the first match following his announcement against Arsenal, Rangnick’s first test was against Crystal Palace, but he will of course have needed time to implement his vision in Manchester.
Rangnick is known for his high intensity, disciplined sides. He tends to lean towards actively pressing his opponents, perhaps most similarly to Liverpool’s playstyle under Klopp, who is likely inspired in some capacity by the fellow German’s tactics. Some have questioned whether Rangnick will be able to reign the Manchester squad in, who themselves have been criticised for their lack of pressing workrate and ability.
The first task will be to curb egos and organise the attack and midfield in pressing as a unit, a task that previously would be undertaken by seemingly random players and would do more harm than good. Rangnick’s high press will test United’s fitness, especially across the front line, as well as bringing full-backs higher up and into attacking moves, an interesting test to watch for Aaron Wan-Bissaka who appears more comfortable further back.
The change in leadership will present challenges, but also opportunities for fringe players to break into the first team. Donny Van De Beek notably was not given a chance under Ole, and will surely be looking to prove himself, whilst Jesse Lingard also looks to earn his way into the squad. Players that offer alternative playstyles to current first team options, for example Telles and Dalot at full-back, may be drawn into first team contention as well, as a back line reshuffle seems necessary to fix United’s leaky defence.
Michael Carrick will not only step down as interim manager but has announced the changeover will also mark his departure from the club in any capacity, where he has been involved since his player retirement. One might expect him to seek an opportunity to manage lower in the English football pyramid to prove his capability, and perhaps look to climb his way back up from there.
So far, Rangnick has gotten off to a good start at Manchester United as his side were able to beat Patrick Vieira's Crystal Palace 1-0. The big question is - will Rangnick be able to keep this up?