Indecision over Solskjaer has cost United valuable time with Rangnick

Manchester United’s appointment of Ralf Rangnick has been a slow-moving process.

United’s interest was first reported by the Athletic on Thursday but his appointment was only confirmed on Monday.

The next game is against Arsenal on Thursday but Rangnick will not be in the dugout for that; a full week after it became clear he was heading to Old Trafford.

There was a way United could have avoided wasting this precious time with Rangnick…

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Back in mid-October, we identified November 7 as a potential date that United could make a decision on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s future.

Coming at the start of the final international break of 2021 and after the Manchester derby, it looked an ideal time to make the change.

Aston Villa, Norwich and Newcastle made managerial changes then. Tottenham replaced Nuno Espirito Santo with Antonio Conte not long before.

But United were once again indecisive, only sacking Solskjaer after the 4-1 loss at Watford, with a game against Villarreal two days later.

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United have already played two games under Michael Carrick that they could have played under Rangnick.

The delay in sorting out visas is agonising with games coming thick and fast; every day counts.

If it was being organised during the international break, there would be more time to sort everything out without that pressure or uncertainty over who is going to be in the dugout against Arsenal.

On top of that, Rangnick is coming in during the most busy period of the season. United have midweek matches until a nine-day break between 18 and 27 December.

That means his training time with the squad will be limited, when he could have had part of the international break to get accustomed to his new players before leading them into matches.

United’s indecision let Solskjaer’s reign linger on too long and also means that the time it is taking to iron out the creases in Rangnick’s appointment – such as work permits and visas – is now precious and being wasted.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.