Who is Ralf Rangnick? Man Utd Interim Manager and ‘gegenpressing’ explained - philosophy, teams managed, trophies

Former RB Leipzig coach, Gegenpress pioneer and inspiration to Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp, Ralf Rangnick, has left Lokomotiv Moscow to become the interim boss at Manchester United, subject to work visa requirements.

Manchester United sacked Norwegian manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Sunday 21 November 2021 after two years in charge.

Solskjaer had looked on edge at the Red Devils for a few months but the last straw came during Saturday’s 4-1 defeat against Watford.

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Solskjaer was sacked after Man Utd lost 4-1 to Watford

The former Tottenham Hotspur manager, Mauricio Pochettino, had been a clear favourite to take on the role but it was unclear as to whether he would have been able to leave Paris Saint-Germain mid-way through the season.

Ralf Rangnick has now taken on the coaching role as an Interim Manager and will then remain as a consultant at the club for the next two years.

Here is all the information about Manchester United’s next manager

Who is Ralf Rangnick?

Rangnick was born in Backnang, West Germany, in 1958 and started his senior football career with VIB Stuttgart II in 1976.

The defensive midfielder had a relatively uneventful playing career which was mainly concentrated in Germany. He had a brief season with Southwick in England but returned to Germany after just a year.

His most impressive stint was his two year period with VIR Heilbronn from 1980-1982 where he scored six goals in his 66 appearances.

When did Ralf Rangnick start coaching?

As early as his first club as a player, Rangnick was noted for his strategic talents and was later added as a player-coach.

His coaching career began in the 1980s with his hometown club Viktoria Backnang as well as VfB Stuttgart II and TSV Lippoldsweiler and in 1988 he became the ehad coach at SC Korb.

Ralf Rangnick’s managerial career in numbers. (Graphic: Mark Hall / JPIMedia)

Who has Ralf Rangnick coached?

Rangnick retired from the pitch fully in 1988 when he took on the role as coach of SC Korb. In 1990, he moved back to Stuttgart to coach their under 19 squad with whom he won the U-19 Bundesliga.

Rangnick returned to first team management in 1995 when he signed as the head coach at SSV Reutlingen 05 although would not stay for his entire contract as he was sought after by his former club Ulm in January 1997.

Ulm won the Regionalliga Sud Championship in 1988 and the following season, Rangnick promoted a strong push that led them to the Bundesliga for the first time in their history.

In 1999, Rangnick took control of the top flight team at VfB Stuttgart but was sacked in 2001 when the side were sitting in 17th place in the Bundesliga. His record had been 36 wins, 16 draws and 34 losses.

Rangnick has also managed Hannover 96, Schalke 04 on two occasions, 1899 Hoffenheim and has also had two stints with RB Leipzig.

If Rangnick is to coach at Manchester United, this will be his first managerial role outside of Germany.

In the 63-year-old’s second stint with RB Leipzig, he had a record of 29 wins, 13 draws and 10 losses. The club finished third in the Bundesliga and qualified for the UEFA Champions League.

What is Rangnick’s coaching style?

The former Leipzig manager is primarily known for his tactics of ‘Gegenpressing’ which is where, immediately after losing the ball, the opposition attempts to win it back straight away rather than falling back to regroup.

The German manager was one of the first coaches to publicise football tactics and as a result he has been nicknamed the ‘Professor’, a title which was initially used in mockery but has now been used as a term of respect.

He has a preferred 4-4-2 system but has also used a 4-3-3 formation during his time at Hoffenheim.

The former Schalke boss has adopted tactics involving the space-orientated and ball-orientated way of defending.

When out of possession, Rangnick’s teams look to press the opposition early which enables them to quickly transition into attack and exploit the opposition’s disorganisation as close to the opposition goal as possible.

What has Ralf Rangnick won as a manager?

With VfB Stuttgart, Rangnick won the under 19 Bundesliga and the UEFA Intertoto Cup with the senior squad in 2000.

With Schalke, he was the 2004/05 Bundesliga runner-up and most recently was the DFB-Pokal runner-up with RB Leipzig.

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