Ralf Rangnick first press conference: Five things Man United fans learned

New Manchester United interim boss Ralf Rangnick took part in his first press conference in his new role this morning. There were plenty of highlights.

The 63-year-old German coach will be in the famous Old Trafford technical area for the first time on Sunday. United take on Crystal Palace, looking to extend a two-game unbeaten run in the Premier League.

Rangnick’s opening press conference was full of enthusiasm as he laid down exactly why he took the job, what he wants to see from his new team and how he is looking to change things at the club.

Here are five things from the opening press conference of Ralf Rangnick that Manchester United fans will have learned:

Ralf Rangnick turned down Chelsea

Rangnick revealed that he turned down the offer of an interim managerial role at Chelsea in February. The Blues eventually appointed compatriot Thomas Tuchel.

He explained: “At the time, when Chelsea contacted me in February, they only gave me the option of interim manager for four months. The offer was without any opportunity to work in the long term together.”

“Here, we are talking about six-and-a-half months, with only a third of the games played in the Premier League. As you all know, I have also agreed on a two-year advisory role.”

Rangnick not impressed with control against Arsenal

Rangnick was sat in the stands during Manchester United’s 3-2 victory over Arsenal on Thursday evening.

United may have recorded the win, but they started the game slowly. They conceded a bizarre opening goal on 13 minutes to Emile Smith Rowe, before going into the half-time interval level at 1-1.

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They retook the lead through Cristiano Ronaldo on 53 minutes, before Martin Odegaard equalised for the Gunners shortly afterwards. Ronaldo then scored what proved to be the winning goal from the penalty spot on 70 minutes.

However, Arsenal controlled much of the play in the second half – something Rangnick was not pleased with from a coaching point of view.

He said: “Before the final whistle, it could have been 4-2, it could have been 3-3. This is the exciting thing about football.”

“But as I said, as a coach you don’t want football games to develop in that way. Anything can happen at any time, at any stage of the game.

“I felt very much with my current colleagues, and in the end I was very happy that we got the result that we all wanted.”

Rangnick wanted Carrick to stay

Shortly after the full-time whistle ended last night’s game, it was announced that Michael Carrick would be leaving Manchester United.

The former United midfielder acted as first-team coach under previous managers Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. He has been United’s caretaker manager in the three games before Rangnick’s arrival.

Carrick stated that the decision was completely his. The new interim boss has confirmed that he wanted the 40-year-old to stay at United.

Rangnick said: “I got to know this [decision to leave] two days ago. I had a private conversation with him for more than an hour. I tried to persuade him to stay on board but in the end I had to accept his decision.”

Ronaldo set to be a key part of Rangnick’s United

Ralf Rangnick also offered high praise for Cristiano Ronaldo.

As he so often does on the big occasion, Ronaldo stepped up in the 3-2 victory over Arsenal last night, scoring a brace. They were his fifth and sixth Premier League goals of the season.

Rangnick explained: “Having seen Cristiano yesterday in the second half, at the age of 36, amazing, top professional. At his age, I’ve never seen a player who is still that physically fit.”

“He’s still a player that can easily make the difference. It’s about how we can develop the whole team. It’s not only about Cristiano. We play in the most competitive league in the world, so we need all the players on board.”

Rangnick could stay beyond interim term

Rangnick has signed a contract until the end of the season to act as United’s interim manager. From there, he will move into a two-year advisory role.

However, he admitted he could recommend that the club keep him as manager for a further year, in a similar way to how events unfolded during his time at RB Leipzig.

“We have never spoken about what will happen at the summer,” he began.

“Right now, I’m fully aware that they might be looking for a new manager. If they will then speak with me about that, we will see.”

“Maybe if they ask me my opinion, and everything goes well, we develop the team, I might even make the same recommendation to the board that I did at Leipzig twice, when I recommended to them that it might be a good idea to keep working with me for one year. But this is all hypothetical.”

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