When Ralf Rangnick was a candidate to become England manager

New Manchester United interim boss Ralf Rangnick is preparing for his first taste of football in England as a coach. But he has previously been interviewed to take charge of the national team.

Rangnick has built much of his coaching reputation from inside Germany. He transformed Hoffenheim and RB Leipzig from struggling third and fourth-tier sides to consistent and credible Bundesliga outfits.

He also has plenty of admirers. They range from Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp to Chelsea’s Thomas Tuchel and even Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers.

Read: Thomas Tuchel was working in a bar when Ralf Rangnick changed his life.

At the age of 63, the German coach is finally going to experience English football at a top division side. That will occur when his visa process, which is currently encountering some delays, can be completed to enable him to take charge at Manchester United.

Plenty of English football fans will know Rangnick already for his feats in Germany and the aggressive way in which his sides play football. But for others, his name may not be a familiar one.

If things had gone slightly differently back in 2016, most of the country would likely have known the name of Ralf Rangnick by now. That’s because, following the departure of Roy Hodgson, he interviewed for the England manager vacancy.

Ralf Rangnick on possible England appointment

Speaking to FourFourTwo back in 2017, Ralf Rangnick revealed the moment he received a call from then director of elite development at the Football Association, Dan Ashworth, after Euro 2016. At the time, the German was sporting director at RB Leipzig.

England, meanwhile, had just been knocked out at the last 16 stage of the Euros by Iceland.

He explained: “Dan first contacted me in 2012 and invited me to an interview with West Brom. He offered me the job, but I knew he was probably going to join the FA, so I turned it down.”

“After the Euros, he called me again and asked if I would come for an interview for the England job. I said, ‘How realistic is that?'”

“He said that if it was up to him, it would be very realistic, but that there were some other people on the board who’d also have a say, and a few of them thought it should be an Englishman. Of course, that’s normal.”

“Three days after I went for the interview, they informed me that Sam Allardyce would be taking over as manager.”

What would Rangnick’s spell as England manager have looked like?

Ralf Rangnick England
Image Credit: Getty

It is interesting now to think what would have happened had Rangnick been offered the job by Dan Ashworth.

The German would have likely insisted on an entirely different approach to any England manager that had preceded him. His aggressive, high-pressing style would have transformed the way England played at the time.

The national team was in a transitional phase. Steven Gerrard, Frank Lampard, and Ashley Cole had all retired within the previous two years. It wasn’t long before Wayne Rooney announced his retirement.

Rangnick would have perhaps been the perfect man to manage this transition and bring through some of the country’s finest talents.

How would he have got on with the current squad? Would he have reached the final of Euro 2020? All those questions are, of course, hypothetical. And Gareth Southgate, who succeeded Allardyce in late 2016, has done an incredible job with the current crop.

He has guided the Three Lions to their first major final in 55 years and played a significant role in creating a new identity for the national team.

Without Southgate in charge, it is questionable that England would have reached the heights that they have in recent years.

Ralf Rangnick’s England does have an intriguing ring to it, though.

Featured Image Credit: Getty