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'You cannot possibly turn it down!' - All you need to know of Ralf Rangnick's first interview as the interim manager of Manchester United


Ralf Rangnick has been appointed by the Man Utd board to take charge of the first team squad temporarily as he looks set to begin a new chapter after Ole Gunnar Solskjaer left the club last month. The German is set to be in the dugout for six months before moving into a consultancy (or in his own words, as an "advisor") role for two years.

Last night, Micheal Carrick took charge of Manchester United's game against Arsenal for the last time as he left the club after 15 long years as a player and as an assistant. He has admitted that it was completely his decision to go separate ways.

Rangnick was in attendance last night at Old Trafford where he oversaw Cristiano Ronaldo and co took all three points against Arsenal in a game which was a thriller of its own.

The German godfather had his first press conference on Friday morning and here are the key takeaways.

He was humble and he greeted and thanked the reporters who came along for his press conference at 9am UK time.


1. Chelsea came to you about a year ago for your services as an interim manager, what can you achieve in 6 months with Manchester United? What's your vision for the club?

"When Chelsea came (in February 2020), they gave me the opportunity to work as an interim manager for 4 months without any option to work in the (slightly) long term. Here I have 6.5 months and as you may all know, we have agreed on a two year advisory role. In the end, if a club like Man Utd contacts you for such a role, you cannot possibly turn it down."

2. Did you look at last night (game vs Arsenal) and think that you can change things within the team?

"Well, obviously I have watched the latest games. I watched the games against Watford and Chelsea when I didn't know that the club would contact me later. Out of interest, I watched the games against Liverpool and Man City. I'm well aware and acquainted with what's happening here in the club and in the Premiership.

It's obvious that the team has loads of talented players and enough experienced players in the squad. The major task for me is to bring more "balance" into the team. Yesterday, (Against Arsenal) we conceded twice. We needed three goals to win the game. On an average, we concede two goals per game, which is too much. My role is to help the team have more control in the game."

3. How easy will it be to turn around the form at Man Utd? The aim must be top four.

"The aim is to win the next game on Sunday. I have 1 training session. We have a training session at 3pm, but those who played last night will obviously not be available. There are not many things that you can change on the training pitch, but off course, it's about getting to know the players, speaking to them, letting them know what the "approach" will be.

It will not be easy in the middle of the season. I am fully aware and experienced to know that you cannot change everything within a few days (let alone weeks). Other German coaches have had the same experience, but it's about winning games. I'm very ambitious, just like the whole club, like all the players and we want to make the most out of this season.

To be realistic, the distance between us and the top three (Chelsea, Man City and Liverpool) is huge. It's about developing performances."

4. Is there a possibility for you to continue beyond six months?

"The people with whom I've spoken with, have been very clear about my role for six months as an interim manager. We have never spoken about what could happen in the summer. Right now, I am fully aware that they might be looking for a new manager. If they decide to speak with me about it, then we'll see.

(If things go well, there is a possibility) I might make the same recommendation to the board that I did at Leipzig twice (to keep working with him). We cannot speak about it now. It's about winning the next game as it's my major focus."

5. It's been 8.5 years since this club won a Premier League title. What comparison can you make about the club back then and now?

"Sir Alex was here for 27 years winning multiple titles. It is unique and exceptional. There have been five or six managerial changes since Sir Alex left. Hence, it was difficult for the club to gain consistency in terms of signing players, sticking to the club DNA and these things are vital.

For the future, the board members and I will see that there are not many changes in management."

6. Is the squad good enough to compete with the top three in England right now?

"The top three in England seem to be very stable. They have top coaches, probably one of the best in the world. If you see how they win, control and play their games, it is something that we need to develop. When Jurgen (Klopp) arrived at Liverpool, it wasn't a good squad."

7. How hard will it be to implement your philosophy at this stage of the season? With Michael Carrick leaving, will you be bringing anyone in (as an assistant)?

"Yes, I think, to win games in the future, (we have) to play proactively irrespective of whether we have the ball or not. It's about playing together and team spirit. We saw it yesterday, the difference between the first and second half which were completely different. By having these unique fans behind us, it will help us a lot and it will help the team gain confidence."

"It's obviously not easy, as I said earlier, I can't do it in 1-2 training sessions or even 1-2 weeks. It's not about playing the pressing game, it's about control."

"Micheal, Yeah, I came to know about it two days ago. I met him and had a long private conversation for more than an hour. I tried to convince him to stay onboard, but he had made that decision weeks ago that he needed a break and a rest after 30 years of professional football. In the end, I can only accept and understand his decision."

"(Regarding the coaching staff) I'm more than happy to work with the current one's as I need their experience and expertise. I hope we can get a few of my colleagues in the next 1-2 weeks, but I can't tell you the names."

8. We've speculated regarding your philosophy and how it would look. You've got Cristiano Ronaldo. Do you have to adapt your style to fit him in your side?

"You always have to adapt your style/idea of playing football to the players you have and not vice versa. 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 much physically fit and he is still a player who could easily make the difference."

"It's about how we can develop the whole team. We play in the most competitive league in the world and so, we need all the players on board. From what I saw from Cristiano yesterday, he was more than willing to put his input into the team and his teammates will have to do the same."

9. January signings?

"We haven't spoken about new players. Now is not the time for them. I need to know the current squad in detail in the next few weeks. The squad is definitely not too small. Maybe after Christmas, there will be a time to talk about transfers in the winter."

"From my experience, winter is not the best time for "sustainable transfers." With the quality of players that we have here, it would, in theory, only make sense to get players that would almost guarantee you more quality. As I said earlier from experience. This will be difficult in the winter."

10. Has it always been your ambition to come in the Premier League?

"As you all know, I studied English as a young student at the university to become a teacher in English and P.E back in the late 70's. I lived in Brighton and since then, I fell in love with English football. In the early 80's, I took the fast train from Brighton to Victoria station and watched every home game at Highbury, White Hart Lane. At Liverpool, I went to Goodison."

"I have always cherished the way the teams are being supported. It's more than exciting for me to be a part of the atmosphere and this should help our team play at the highest level."

11. Erling Haaland is one of the hottest prospects in world football. He is a player you know well. Is there a chance that you sign him?

"(Laughs) Let me have a look (Goes through pages) Okay, £10m for Erling Haaland, £10m for Kylian Mbappe, £10m for Robert Lewandowski and £10m for Joshua Kimmich. I mean this is obviously nonsense. It doesn't make any sense to sign players in the winter."

"Erling Haaland is a fantastic striker as I know it myself because I was with him during my time at Salzburg. The people there were slightly involved with his move from Molde to Salzburg and therefore, I know what kind of player he is, but in the meantime, the whole world has realised how good the player is."

12. Where do you see Man Utd by the time your contract expires in 2024?

"In the ideal world, we will regularly be in the top flight, not just top four, but we will be competing for titles. This is in the DNA of the club. We hope we get a good draw to progress further in the Champions League after the new year."

13. What will your role be when you're in consultation?

"To be honest, we haven't spoken about it in detail in all the conversations we had with John and Ed. I also had a long telephonic call with Joel Glazer which was for more than half an hour."

"By the way, last Sunday, I also spoke with Ole (Gunnar Solskjaer) before the game against Chelsea for almost two hours. He was very generous to spend time on the phone with me and tell me about his inside details about the team."

"We have only spoken about the current situation and how we find a way to work together."