Ralf Rangnick opens up on Ronaldo, chat with Ole and wanting job full-time in fascinating first Man Utd press conference

NEW Manchester United boss Ralf Rangnick has finally taken over the wheel from Michael Carrick.

The German was at Old Trafford last night to watch the Reds come back to win 3-2 against Arsenal.

Rangnick has spoken about taking the United job – and plenty more as well[/caption]

Carrick was in the hotseat for what turned out to be his final act at Old Trafford, with the caretaker boss sensationally leaving the club moments after the final whistle.

Rangnick, 63, will now take the reins on Sunday afternoon when Crystal Palace come to town after finally being granted a work permit.

Ahead of the game, the German gaffer has given his first press conference as Red Devils chief – and here’s what he had to say about Carrick, Cristiano Ronaldo, his incredible chat with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer – and plenty more besides.


“You always have to adapt your style or your idea of football to the players you have available, not visa versa.

“Having seen Cristiano against Arsenal in the second half at the age of 36..an amazing top professional.

“At his age, I’ve never seen a player who is still that physically fit. He’s still a player who can easily make the difference.

“So yes, it’s about how we can develop the whole team not only Cristiano. We play in the most competitive league in the world so we need all the players on board.

“What I saw from Cristiano, he is more than willing to do that, to put his input into the team. His team-mates will have to do the same.

Rangnick was understandably impresssed by Ronaldo’s match-winning performance against Arsenal[/caption]



“I spoke with Ole last Sunday before the Chelsea game for almost two hours. He was very generous to spend one-and-a-half hours on the phone with me telling me his insight and details about the team.”


“Right now I’m fully aware they might be looking for a new manager.

“If they will then speak with me about that we will see. Maybe if they ask my opinion and everything goes well and we develop the team I might even make the same recommendation to the board that I did at Leipzig twice when I recommended it might be a good idea to keep working with me for one year.

“But this is all hypothetical. For me now it’s about winning the next games and this is the major focus.” 


“I had a long private conversation with him (Carrick) for more than an hour. I was trying to convince him to stay on board but he had obviously taken that decision weeks ago that he needed a break and a rest after thirty years in professional football. In the end I had to accept that, in a way I can also understand his decision.

“The question about the coaching staff, I’m more than happy to work with the current coaching staff because I need their experience, I need their expertise regarding the current squad.

“I will obviously try to find one, two, maybe three people who can join us in the one or two weeks but due to the Brexit regulations it’s not too easy.

“Many of my former colleagues, no matter if it’s video analysts or assistant coaches are in long-term contracts with big clubs so they are not available right now and we have to be a bit smart and clever and find the right people.

“I hope that we can get them in here in the next one or two weeks, but I cannot tell you any names.”

Carrick refused to stay at United despite the pleas of Rangnick[/caption]


“I cannot do a lot with the players that played against Arsenal because I need to make sure that they have enough power and fuel in the tanks for the game on Sunday, so physically we cannot really train.

“So, the only way to help them and to give them an input is mentally obviously, with regard to energy.

“I mean, yesterday the second half showed that there is enough energy in the team and of course it’s about video, video footage, showing them the right situations, telling them what they could might be able to do better to keep the team away from their own box. Those are the kinds of things.”


“Obviously, I have watched the latest games, I watched not only last night’s game but also the games against Watford and against Chelsea on TV, when I didn’t know when I would be contacted in the next days.

“I watched, out of interest the games against Liverpool and Manchester City. I’m pretty well aware and acquainted with what is happening here with the club and in the Premier League.

“I think it’s pretty obvious the team have an abundance of talent, young, talented players, but enough experienced players in the squad too.

“The major target for me in the next couple of days and weeks is to bring more balance into the team.

“I think to gain control on games in the future has got to do with playing proactively, no matter if we have the ball ourselves of if the other team is in possession of the ball.

Rangnick is fully aware of the state United are in after seeing their recent losses, including the Watford shambles[/caption]

“It’s about helping the team to play together, it’s about togetherness, it’s also about team spirit. We saw it yesterday. If we compare the two halves, first half and second half against Arsenal they were completely different.

“Having these unique fans behind us, this will help us and help the team to gain confidence. You could see it in the second half.

“Obviously it’s not easy, I cannot do that in one or two training sessions, not even in one or two weeks. It’s not about playing pressing or counter-pressing for pressing sake, it’s about control. This is the major target.

“They have to go together with me, they have to follow not only my instructions but they have to buy into the idea that I can offer them how we should want to play in the future. That is what it’s all about.

“It has to happen step by step. It cannot be done within one or two days like this. It will not work like that.”


“It’s not the time to speak about new players, it’s time to get to know the current squad in detail.

“The squad is definitely not too small, there are enough players in the squad.

“Maybe at Christmas there will be a time to speak about possible transfers. From my experience winter is not the best time for sustainable transfers.

“With this quality of players that we have here, in theory it would only make sense if you get players who can almost guarantee you more quality and as I said from experience this will be difficult.”

The German boss isn’t surprised United have struggled since Fergie’s 27-year reign ended[/caption]


“At the time when Chelsea contacted me this year in February, they only spoke about the option to become interim manager for four months.

“So it was in February, without any prospective to work in the long-term together, and here now we’re talking about six-and-a-half months, so we only have one third of all the games played in the Premiership.

“And as you all know, we have also agreed upon a two-year advisory role after those six-and-a-half months, and in the end to be honest, if a club like Manchester United contacts you for such a role you cannot possibly turn it down.”


“Having had Sir Alex for 27 years, winning numerous titles, I don’t think there was any other club – maybe Guy Roux with Auxerre – like that.

“Having had the same manager for 27 years is unique and exceptional and for me it’s not that unusual that after such a long and successful spell the club needs to find the new pathway.

“There have been changes in management – five managers since Sir Alex left – and therefore it was also difficult for the club to gain continuity in regard to signing new players and sticking to the DNA of the club and I think this is vital in modern football that you do that.

“For me it is not that unusual that there were so many changes and I think the board members and myself have the same opinion that for the future it’s important we develop in the future and there will not be that many changes in management.”


“You are fully aware that Pep is there for five years now at Man City, five years, Jurgen for six years at Liverpool and Thomas OK he came in in February at Chelsea but time wise maybe they are a little bit ahead of us, how they want to develop.

“But I am still more than happy with the quality of the players that we have here and I am sure if we can help them to get better in those areas that brought us into the position that we are currently in that we can take the next possible steps. That is what it’s all about.”

Rangnick admits his United side are a way behind old pal Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool[/caption]

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