Six reasons Rangnick never stood a chance at Manchester United

Ralf Rangnick leaves Manchester United as as a shadow of the man many thought would change the club around following his exciting appointment back in November.

The man hailed as the potential saviour for United, who was set on rebuilding the club behind the scenes didn’t even get a chance to do the role he was appointed to do, and now, another dark cloud is rolling into Old Trafford.

The decision to mutually part ways with Rangnick could be one of the strangest choices United have made in some time, quite an achievement in of itself given the recent history of the club.

However, a strong argument can be made that the German never stood a chance at United, and here are five reasons why Rangnick was doomed to fail from the start with the Red Devils.

Lack of January signings set Rangnick up for failure

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Rangnick knew the squad was a mess from the moment he joined, more about his honesty later, yet instead of doing something about it, United were simply one of many passengers in the January transfer window.

With the German regarded as one of the best Directors of Football in Europe, Rangnick was never given the tools to make any sort of impact at United doing what he does best. And in doing so, the former RB Leipzig manager was somewhat set up for failure right at the start.

He was reportedly frustrated the club never considered Denis Zakaria in midfield, The Mail reported, while Rangnick later named Luis Diaz, Dusan Vlahovic and Julian Alvarez as three forwards he recommended the club sign.

Patience is never a virtue at Manchester United

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Football is a results-based industry, yet for special cases like United, taking their time with a project could do a world of good.

The club seem incapable of any sort of project or giving any figure time to lay down their plans and implement them. Whilst Erik Ten Hag could still be given this luxury, not having Rangnick consulting on transfers will be a major hindrance for the club given his incredible knowledge and expertise on the subject.

Fans had grown restless during meaningless season

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It’s been five years since United last won silverware, and after early eliminations from the UEFA Champions League and FA Cup, it became pretty evident that supporters were about the endure another meaningless season, and Rangnick became the point of frustration for some fans.

Overall hype for the German quickly died down when results off the field turned sour, and as we know in football, fans control the power at a club, essentially putting Rangnick in a difficult position to succeed in Manchester despite his skillset being perfect for what the Red Devils needed off the pitch.

It left Rangnick’s reputation dented, even though management is not his top remit. The spell went so off the rails that having him stick around may have been detrimental.

He inherited a total mess

One of the reasons Rangnick needed transfers was to try and steady the sinking ship he inherited from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. The players were unable to enact his preferred style of play and Rangnick ended up having to adapt to them, not the other way around.

The dressing room was divided, and this led to players gradually turning against Rangnick and his staff. When it comes to United’s poor season, only so much responsibility is on the interim boss – the players must shoulder most of the blame.

Austria appointment spelt ‘the end’ for Rangnick

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In addition to no funding to make transfers, a club that are seemingly allergic to the concept of patience, and fans growing restless, if there was one thing Rangnick could have done to make the situation even more fractious, it was to accept another managerial role whilst working alongside United.

Rangnick was announced as Austria’s new manager after weeks of speculation in late April, with the original plan being that the German would work both roles with the national team and United at the same time.

This turned out to be Rangnick’s escape route, rather than another hobby to fill his time. Potentially the dual role could have worked, but in the end, both parties decided to simply walk away.

Rangnick was too honest

Multiple factors had led to Rangnick becoming an isolated figure at the club, yet unlike the previously failed managers at the club, the German had the bravery to point out what was going wrong behind the scenes. Yet doing so is likely what cost the 63-year-old his job.

He spoke out to say the club needed 10 new signings, and told a press conference the club needed ‘open heart surgery’ off the club to be fixed. These comments may not have gone down too well behind the scenes, even if he spoke the truth.

Rangnick may have more than crossed a line in the eyes of the higher-ups, reducing any affection or sympathy towards him to try and convince him to stay. If you bring in a ‘fixer’ and don’t be surprised when he delivers refuse cold, hard truths. United may simply have not appreciated them being aired publicly.

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Football journalist and 2018 Sport Journalism graduate from the University of Brighton.