Manchester United interim coach Ralf Rangnick last managed a football club over two-and-a-half years ago, when he was at RB Leipzig.

The 63-year-old stepped back into management in July 2018 and away from his sporting director role, as Leipzig had to wait another year to secure the services of Julian Nagelsmann from Hoffenheim.

FC Bayern München v Dinamo Kiev: Group E - UEFA Champions League
(Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

Instead of hiring another manager just for one year, whilst waiting for Nagelsmann, Rangnick decided to make a return to management himself.

This was the second time that Rangnick had managed Leipzig, after he secured promotion to Bundesliga with the Red Bull club in 2015/16.


Here we take a look at how the influential German coach got on in his last season in management…

Impressive season

RB Leipzig v Bayern Muenchen - DFB Cup Final 2019
(Photo by Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Despite qualifying for the Champions League in their first season in the Bundesliga in 2016/17 under Ralph Hasenhuttl, Leipzig and the now Southampton manager finished sixth in 2017/18, and had to settle for Europa League football.

With Rangnick at the helm Leipzig finished third, which ensured qualification for the Champions League once again.

However, Rangnick got off to the worst possible start in the opening Bundesliga game. Despite taking the lead at Dortmund in the first minute, Leipzig ended up losing 4-1, with a certain Jadon Sancho coming off the bench to assist the fourth goal for the hosts.

Celtic v RB Leipzig - UEFA Europa League - Group B
(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Rangnick failed to get his side out of a Europa League group that contained Brendan Rodgers’ Celtic and Leipzig’s sister club RB Salzburg.

But across September to November, Rangnick went on a ten-match unbeaten run, which brought seven wins.

Then from 27 January 2019 to May 18, Rangnick’s side went on an incredible 18-match unbeaten run, before losing on the final day of the Bundesliga season.

Rangnick’s last game in management was a 3-0 loss to Bayern Munich in the DFB-Pokal final.

RB Leipzig v Bayern Muenchen - DFB Cup Final 2019
(Photo by Matthias Hangst/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Across all competitions in 2018/19, Rangnick managed 52 matches, of which he won 29, lost 10 and drew 13. That gave him a points per match average of 1.92.

However, what was telling was whilst United’s defence has been practically non-existent at times this season, no Bundesliga goalkeeper registered more clean sheets than Leipzig stopper Peter Gulacsi (16) in 2018/19.

In 38 games that season, Timo Werner scored 19 goals and made 13 assists under Rangnick.

Let’s hope Rangnick can have the same positive influence in a defensive and attacking aspect on the likes of David de Gea and Cristiano Ronaldo.

1. FSV Mainz 05 v RB Leipzig - Bundesliga
(Photo by Simon Hofmann/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Leipzig’s incredible run from January to May showed that Rangnick’s methodical approach on the training ground paid off.

The difference from his time at Leipzig to United, is that he had the full season to instil his style and philosophies at a club he was already a sporting director at.

But at United, he’s only going to have half the time, in a country he has never managed in, to hopefully have the same positive influence.

The quicker we can get Ralf conducting training sessions at Carrington the better.

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