Who is Ralf Rangnick?
Fri, Dec 03.21
Mancheser United manager Ralf Rangnick is said to have invented gegenpressing and inspired the likes of Jurgen Klopp.
Rangnick started his managerial career in the 1980s as a player-coach of his home-town club of Viktoria Backnang and went on to do the same at VfB Stuttgart II and TSV Lippoldsweiler.
In the late 80s Rangnick became the head-coach of SC Korb before rerutning to Stuttgart to manage the U-19s side. In 1991 Rangnick won the league with his U-19s side and returned to senior management in 1995 at SSV Reutlingen 05.
In his first season at SSV Reutlingen 05, Rangnick took the club to a 4th place finish and started the next season strong before being poached by Ulm in January.
Ulm is where Rangnick started to make his name as a manager, winning the 3rd division, winning promotion from the 2nd division and taking the team to the Bundesliga for the first time in their history in consecutive seasons.
Rangnick moved to former club Stuttgart after his successful spell at Ulm. In his first season at Stuttgart he led the club to a solid 8th place finish however he struggled the following season and was dismissed in February of his second season with Stuttgart in the relegation zone.
Rangnick was snapped up quickly by Hannover where his side dominated the 2. Bundesliga, being crowned champions and earning promotion after 13 years out of the first division. Hannover went on to have a great season in the Bundesliga, finishing comfortably in mid-table. His Hannover side struggled in their second season in the top division, much like at Stuttgart and he was consequently sacked in March.
Rangnick joined Schalke just before the start of the 2004/05 season, where he made it out of the group stages of the UEFA Cup and to the final of the DFB-Pokal where they narrowly lost to Bayern Munich. Rangnick was also just beaten in the league, finishing 2nd with Schalke, again behind Bayern Munich.
Schalke suffered the 2nd season slump again under Rangnick, failing to make it our of the group-stage in the Champions League, off the pace in the Bundesliga and had crashed out of the domestic cup leading to Rangnick's sacking in December.
Rangnick's next job was at Hoffenheim, dropping all the way down to the Regionalliga Süd from the Champions League. Rangnick transformed Hoffeheim, winning promotion to 2. Bundesliga in his first season and had them in the Bundesliga the season after, for the first time in the club’s history. In 2008/09 Rangnick had Hoffenheim flying high in the first division, with a 7th place finish and decent showings in the DFB-Pokal.
Hoffenheim had a much better second season in the Bundesliga compared to other club’s Rangnick has managed, a comfortable mid-table finish and reached the quarter-finals of the cup. It was the sale of Luiz Gustavo to Bayern Munich which led to the resignation of Ralf from Hoiffenheim having not been informed of the planned transfer.
Post-Hoffenheim Rangnick had a brief spell at Schalke where he joined just before the end of the season, leading the club to their first ever Champions League semi-final appearance after masterminding a 7-3 win over Champions Inter Milan. Rangnick would later step down with chronic fatigue syndrome.
Rangnick took a 5-year break from coaching after his brief spell at Schalke before returning to management at RB Leipzig. Rangnick secured promotion again with the club and stepped down once again after the club was in the Bundesliga. Rangnick returned to Leipzig again in 2018 where he finished 3rd in the Bundesliga, Qualified for the Champions League and reached the DFB-Pokal final.
Will he be a success at United? Time will tell. Time being the key word. 6 months won't be enough for him to get his style into the team, so his moved to a role upstairs for a further two season's will be exciting to watch. At all the club's he has worked with he's found managers who fit the exact mould of himself. Who that is will be equally as exciting to watch.