Every word from Ralf's press conference

Friday 22 April 2022 13:00

Ralf Rangnick addressed reporters on Friday morning, ahead of Manchester United's crucial Premier League visit to Arsenal tomorrow (Saturday, 12:30 BST).

Here's a full transcript of the first part...

Given the recruitment of some of Manchester United’s rivals has been so sharp in recent years, and also given that the new manager is now public, will the focus now shift to towards player recruitment, exits and loans?
"I don't know, this is the question you have to ask to the board. My focus is on the last remaining games and getting the best out of those games. For the recruitment process, if you have questions about that, it's better that you speak to the board."

Ralf, can we get your reaction to the news this week that Erik ten Hag is going to be the next United manager. I know you haven’t wanted to talk about that and you’ve wanted to focus on the games but now we know it’s going to be him, what’s your reaction to that news?
"We don't know each other in person, we haven't met as yet in person. But from what I have seen him doing, both at Bayern Munich when he was the Under-23 coach and at Ajax now, I like his football and I'm pretty positive with a full pre-season, with having the chance to build and mould his own staff, also a new team which is obvious we will have a new team, with a full pre-season I am pretty sure that we will see a different team and improvement on the pitch."
Part 1: Ralf's press conference v Arsenal Video

Part 1: Ralf's press conference v Arsenal

Watch part one of Rangnick's press conference, previewing the important Premier League match against Arsenal...

Have you had any involvement in the process? Have you had any conversations with the board about his appointment and do you know anything yet about your own role next season?
"Well, I knew that Erik was one of the candidates the board spoke to. And obviously I told them from, at least from what I had seen and had known from people who had worked with Erik that I think he would be a good choice. I still believe that he is a very good choice and all the other things we so far haven't had time to speak about."

How's the team looking for tomorrow? Obviously you had a lot of absentees the other day…
"Scott McTominay will be back and fit to play. He has been training with us and will train today. So he will be available for the game tomorrow. The same is true with Rapha Varane. And obviously Cristiano Ronaldo is available again, he has been training with us. All of the others are injured, plus Paul Pogba obviously. With Paul, it seems after the scan we did yesterday or the day before yesterday, it's very unlikely that he will play until the end of the season again."

Do you think that Paul Pogba has played his last match for Manchester United?
"The doctor told me that it will take four weeks minimum for him to recover. And since the last game is at the end of May, I don't think that it is very likely that he will be able to play again."
Ralf, no player should feel that either their life or their families' lives are under threat because of football. How is Harry Maguire doing after that incident?
"I haven't seen him, because I only got to know about this terrible thing yesterday afternoon. And since then I haven't been able to speak with him. But again this is another bad sign of the crazy world we are living in. Obviously, I feel very sorry for Harry that he has to make that terrible experience. He knows that we are all behind him, the club is behind him. Everybody, the players, his team-mates. It's sad enough that crazy things like that happen."

Ralf, what have you made of the way Arsenal have played under Mikel Arteta? What do you think of their style of play?
"They are very fresh, extremely young team, probably on average the youngest team in the league. Knowing that we spoke about that earlier on, they lost their first three games. Away at Brentford 2-0, I remember watching that game on TV and I think they just draw the right conclusions from what they experienced earlier on in the season. They brought in some young players - Odegaard for example - and got rid of some players who didn't fit into that style of football. Yes, it's a high attacking team with fast strikers. Pretty aggressive in the first third, always trying to press and counter-press. But still also vulnerable at the back. I like watching them actually but hopefully not against us tomorrow. It's up to us to be aware and be prepared for what they are doing up front but at the same time take advantage of the space that we will hopefully get in their half."

Team news for Arsenal encounter


Ralf Rangnick provides the latest on his squad for the trip to the capital to face the Gunners.

In terms of your Champions League ambitions, do you need to win the match?
"I don't think it makes sense to speculate about how likely it still is that we can finish fourth or wherever. It doesn't make sense after a performance like that at Liverpool. We just need to make sure that we play far better. This is the only way to deal with it. We need to get the best possible team on the pitch and then play in a different way with more conviction, with more confidence, with more aggressive behaviour on the pitch. I mean the way that we played at Liverpool, especially in the first half, it will be difficult to get something out of the game at Arsenal. But we will have to change and show a completely different performance."

Ralf, what has been the players' reaction to that defeat against Liverpool? Have you seen that in training, a desperation to put things right?
"We only trained yesterday because the day after the game obviously was recovery. Yesterday, we trained some issues in connection with the game but the only real training session we are going to have is now in one hour's time. They were all disappointed as we all were so obviously it's now up to us and to the players to show a reaction on the pitch tomorrow."

Do you think there will be a lot of ins and outs at the end of the season? I'm sure you've got a figure in your head but will you be passing that information on to Erik as to how many players you think are needed to come in in the summer?
"It's obvious there are quite a few players whose contracts are expiring. There might be a few others who, although they still have contracts, are already on loan and still want to be on loan or to leave the club. So it will be a significant change and rebuild necessary, that's clear but how many players and in which positions... as I said, I haven't spoken to Erik in person as yet but if he asks me in person my opinion, I am obviously ready and willing to speak with him about my experience. But on the other hand he will have his own ideas. That it's not only three or four players is obvious. Bearing in mind how many players' contracts are expiring."