Austria players rave about Ralf Rangnick after first training session

Ralf Rangnick’s spell at Manchester United came to an abrupt end this week when the club announced he would no longer be staying on as consultant.

Rangnick had been scheduled to work part-time, along with his new international commitments for Austria. But really, after his appointment there, the writing was on the wall.

Manchester United’s players never fully bought into Rangnick’s methods. The so-called inventor of ‘gegenpressing’ found a squad unable to implement his preferred playing style.

He may have more luck with Austria’s players, who appear to have taken a real liking to the German after his first training session.

Austria’s new German head coach Ralf Rangnick addresses a press conference in Bad Tatzmannsdorf, Austria on May 29, 2022. – Manchester United announced on May 29, 2022 that Ralf Rangnick has decided against taking up a consultancy role with the English football giants due to the demands of his new job as Austria manager. – Austria OUT (Photo by ERWIN SCHERIAU / APA / AFP) / Austria OUT (Photo by ERWIN SCHERIAU/APA/AFP via Getty Images)


Austria players impressed by Rangnick

Stuttgart striker Sasa Kalajdzic was quoted by Spox after training, commenting: “It was very intense. It was said that the first training session would be like getting in. I’m already excited to see what’s on tomorrow’s training program.”

The forward added that he is already buying into Rangnick’s plans, commenting: “The philosophy is to play intensively and offensively.”

His views were backed by Hoffenheim midfielder Christoph Baumgartner, who said: “Most recently he has trained one of the biggest clubs in the world.”

“You noticed right away how professional, structured and clear the idea is – even off the pitch, what works and what doesn’t. It’s very exciting and each and every one of us could see that something positive was coming our way.”

Baumgartner even spoke about Rangnick’s now notoriously direct communication style, and said that the squad appreciate it.

He said: “Everyone was full of praise and said that it can sometimes be tough because he addresses things that don’t fit directly and honestly. I think that’s very good because at the end of the day that’s what we do [to] progress.”

Photo by Jacques Feeney/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

Having a squad of players willing to buy into his methods will be a breath of fresh air to Rangnick, after a wretched time at Manchester United, in which he won 11 games out of 29 in all competitions.

The quality of player is not so high, but Rangnick may have the characters he wants, with Austria’s players full of admiration for his record and methods, and their positive attitudes show Manchester United’s stars up.

We will see if it lasts, but it seems Rangnick will be happier in new role, while Manchester United’s players are Erik ten Hag’s problem now.

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