Rival legend questions Rangnick’s qualifications with Man United set to appoint a new manager

Arsenal legend Paul Merson questions Manchester United on appointing Ralf Rangnick as interim manager

Speaking on Soccer Saturday (h/t Sky Sports), Arsenal icon Paul Merson expressed his doubts about appointing Ralf Rangnick as the interim coach of Manchester United. The German mastermind is expected to take over the interim manager role from Michael Carrick in the coming days.

Rangnick would be arriving with high expectations for what he has done in German football. His influence on various football clubs and managers are widely known, and he has earned himself a name in Germany. He was the head of sports and development at Lokomotiv Moscow before he took the Red Devils job.

The German would be joining temporarily before taking a consultant role at the end of the season. In recent years, he has taken roles that differ from that of a traditional manager, which is evident from his time at clubs like RB Leipzig and Lokomotiv. With Man United struggling to find success in the post-Sir Alex Ferguson era, he could turn out to be what the club needs to shape their future.

Merson questions Manchester United on appointing Ralf Rangnick as interim coach.
Ralf Rangnick set to join Manchester United. (Credit: Getty Images)

Bur for Merson, a man close to the heart of Arsenal fans, Rangnick isn’t a very smart appointment.

“I’m hearing people going how great he is – but he’s never managed in England, he’s never managed one of the top teams in the world. Why is that? Why has no one else come in for him when managers have been up?”

“I hear great things about him, people saying he’s going to press and he’s hard working and he’s turned lesser teams into real contenders. But that’s a lot different, getting a Schalke or a Hoffenheim to a certain stage.”

Verdict

While Merson has made some valid points about the appointment, the dismissive nature of his comments is far from reality. Marcelo Bielsa has had enormous influences in football but is yet to take the role of a top club. That’s because his methods may not suit a big club where the factors are magnified as compared to a ‘lesser’ club.

Ralf Rangnick to become Manchester United as an interim manager.(Photo by Karina Hessland-Wissel/Bongarts/Getty Images)
Ralf Rangnick to become Manchester United as an interim manager.(Photo by Karina Hessland-Wissel/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Similarly, the 63-year-old is stubborn in his ways and is known for wanting complete control to instill his methods throughout a club. Top clubs usually don’t like that as power and control get shared among multiple people. Now it would be interesting to see how things get managed after he officially takes charge.

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In an ideal scenario, he would have had control where he could shape the future of the club. That is what happened with the Red Bull clubs, where his influence turned them into one of the most well-run clubs in the top five leagues. They are known for their talent factory, and his impact on them should not get overlooked.

But he is bound to face challenges, as the current squad does not suit his high pressing style of play. He also has to manage several high-profile players and personalities, which would be another obstacle in his time here. But from what it looks like, United have found a good temporary solution. The next task will now be to find a long-term solution.