Ralf Rangnick is transforming the strategy of Manchester United

Ralf Rangnick is transforming the strategy of Manchester United

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17 Jan 2022
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Ralph Rangnick started at Manchester United with two Premier League wins. The games with Crystal Palace (1:0) and Norwich (1:0) were less significant due to 11 changes in the Champions League match against Young Boys (1:1). 


Coach is already doing big things!

The German immediately began to change the team for himself. There are a lot of changes – not all of them started working right away, but intermediate conclusions can already be drawn. First of all, where the team is developing, and not about how successful the path will be (there are still more questions than answers). 


The basis of the coach’s style is intense pressing and verticality.

If you have carefully read Rangnick’s detailed analysis of football when the German came to Loko (or even earlier), feel free to skip this part. Let’s briefly go over Ralph’s key principles. In an interview with The Coaches’ Voice, Rangnick summed up his philosophy in two sentences: “My style is high-pressing and counter-pressing football. I would call it fast, proactive, attacking, counter-attacking, counter-pressing and exciting.” 

Ralph’s principles were revealed in more detail by his students. For example, Bradley Carnell, who is now an assistant coach at RB New York and previously played for Rangnick at Stuttgart: “The Red Bull concept is an energy-intensive style with bold off-the-ball play that focuses on ball position. Many coaches are familiar with this concept, and it comes from Ralf Rangnick. We play with a very high compactness and try to make the most of the time and space right after the ball is tackled. We try to create positive scenarios when we don’t have the ball – to combine the position of the players for the selection and for a quick transition. Our task is to catch the opponent’s moment of disorganization and deliver the ball to the goal as quickly as possible.”

Jesse Marsch, even when he was the coach of RB New York, lectured about Rangnick’s philosophy. Here is an important passage from a tactical point of view: “At Red Bull we have a clear style of play. It is based on the principles of the game and tactics. The key idea is to score within 10 seconds of tackling the ball. A big part of our job is to organize the team in such a way that at the moment of selection we are ready to run into a fast attack and score. We are always looking for an opportunity to move the ball quickly. We quickly combine, play touch, throw the ball to each other – we call all this “quick play”. “Fast play” is not only the ability to play forward, but also an understanding of where the partners are. This helps to quickly combine, find space and counterattack. 

Our goal is to use “quick play” to create small areas in the center. And then deliver the ball to someone else’s goal – as quickly as possible. We do not seek to saturate the flanks with players. We always aim to play through the center.”

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