The wisdom and vision of Ralf Rangnick

Monday 29 November 2021 16:30

The appointment of Ralf Rangnick as United’s interim manager has captured the imagination of the football media, who have shared the experienced German’s thoughts on how he thinks the game should be played.

Here is a selection of those quotes, which provide an insight into Rangnick’s footballing ethos...

FIRST STEPS

“You’re kind of born to be a coach. Even at the age of six, playing with 10-year-olds, I wanted to pick the teams, organise the game and show others how they could improve.”

ON HIS FIRST COACHING ROLE WITH HOMETOWN CLUB FC VIKTORIA BACKNANG

“I put tape straps on players because I knew a bit about medicine from my studies. I once threw a crate of beer out of the dressing room to make a point, banned smoking within two hours of a game and introduced warm-downs.”

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ON LEADING A PLAYING SQUAD

“Modern-day leadership is about being persuasive and creating a motivational basis so every day the players will want to come in and get better. This is about trust and empathy and human relationships.”

ON HIS OVERALL VISION

“In order to develop, educate and coach your own team, you need to be sure what kind of football you need to play. That’s what all the top coaches in Europe have in common. They know what their football looks like, they have a video of the perfect game in their heads. The job is to transform that idea of football into the heads, hearts, brains and veins of the players. That’s motivation: the transfer of belief.”

ON GEGENPRESSING AND HIS STYLE OF FOOTBALL

“It's a very proactive style of football. We like to press high, with a very intense counter-pressure. When we have the ball, we do not like any square or back passes. It is a fast, proactive, attacking, counter-attacking, counter-pressing, exciting and entertaining [style of] football.”

ON THE INFLUENCE OF HIS HOFFENHEIM TEAM

“What we did in Hoffenheim had a lot of influence on German football. I remember in our first year in the Bundesliga in 2008 we played Borussia Dortmund under Jurgen Klopp, who came from Mainz to Dortmund, and we dominated them 4-1. It could easily have been six or seven because we continuously pressed them for the entire game. The following week Jurgen said that this is exactly the style of football he wants to play with Dortmund in the future.
During the next two years, he developed his team in such an impressive manner that they managed to win two consecutive championship titles and two cups.”

TALKING TACTICS

“You need to dictate the game with and without the ball, not through individuals… use transitions, switch quickly… to think and find the right solutions quickly… and shoot within 10 seconds of winning the ball back.”

Rangnick: His football story so far article

Get the lowdown on Ralf Rangnick's extensive career, as the German becomes United's interim boss.

ON PLAYERS

“The biggest untapped potential lies in the footballer’s brain.”

AND AGAIN...

“We compare our players’ development [at Red Bull] to a 1,000-piece jigsaw. We try to offer all of those 1,000 pieces to every player, and it’s up to them to use them in whatever dimension they want. We try to have all the relevant aspects of football development in our portfolio. We want the best possible support staff to develop the players.”

THE LAST WORD

Tactics, fitness and rules are all hugely important, but they’re only a means to an end. My job – the job – is to improve players. Players follow you as a manager if they feel that you make them better. That’s the greatest, most sincere motivation there is.”

Sources: Coaches Voice, The Guardian, The Athletic, ESPN

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