Rangnick says Man United need equivalent of open heart surgery shows size of task facing ten Hag

Words were no longer enough for Ralf Rangnick to express the sorry state of affairs at Manchester United that he will hand over to Erik ten Hag this summer. He needed a prop.

The interim manager briefly removed his spectacles to illustrate the point at Carrington on Friday before delivering the most drastic diagnosis of United’s problems yet.

Rangnick’s solution? The football equivalent of open-heart surgery.

Words were no longer enough for Ralf Rangnick to express the sorry state of affairs at Manchester United

‘The good thing is that it’s crystal clear,’ he said. ‘You do not even need glasses to see and analyze where the problems are. Now it’s only about how we solve them. For me, it’s not enough to do some minor amendments, some little cosmetic things here and there.

‘In medicine, you would say that this is an operation of the open heart. But this is the good thing. If this happens and everyone has realized this has to happen, and if people want to work together, then it makes sense. ‘

Much to his frustration, Rangnick has not had the kind of impact he would have wanted since replacing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

It remains to be seen just how much influence he has going forward in a rather vague consultancy role, having admitted on Friday that he has not even spoken to Ten Hag ahead of his appointment.

His solution to the diagnosis of their issues was the football equivalent of open-heart surgery

His solution to the diagnosis of their issues was the football equivalent of open-heart surgery

No, Rangnick’s most effective contribution may be in the here and now and an ability to tell it like it is – a task he seems to embrace more enthusiastically with each passing week.

On Friday, he did not only draw unfavorable comparisons with Liverpool and Manchester City to demonstrate the rebuilding job facing Ten Hag. He pointed to United’s defeats by struggling Watford and Everton, and the fact they can not even defend as well as Burnley.

‘At a club like Manchester United, it’s difficult to tell people to be patient. We have to face the current situation, ‘he added. ‘We lost on aggregate against Liverpool 9-0. We lost against Manchester City 6-1 on aggregate. We even lost against teams like Watford 4-1, a team like Everton, who were not full of confidence, 1-0.

‘This is just the reality – the sad reality. It also makes sense to have a sense of reality. We have to acknowledge this, and it would also help Erik ten Hag. Obviously we are very far away from the kind of football that I would like to play and that I normally stand for as a manager.

Rangnick admitted on Friday that he has not even spoken to Ten Hag ahead of his appointment

Rangnick admitted on Friday that he has not even spoken to Ten Hag ahead of his appointment

‘Even if I watch Burnley in the second half on Thursday, and they are fighting to stay in the league. The way that they defended did not allow Southampton a chance to score. This is what I mean by basics.

‘We can not play the way we played at Liverpool, it’s impossible. It was never part of the game plan to stand at the halfway line and attack high up (for Liverpool’s first goal). That was not smart.

‘It’s terribly frustrating because in the last 10 to 15 years we only experience success, myself as a sporting director and a manager. In football you’re not always on the bright side. Right now, we’re on the other side. ‘

Rangnick would clearly like to have a role in the new set-up and offer some of the insight gathered from his six-month stint as interim. He made a pointed reference on Friday to the fact that Pep Guardiola and Jurgen Klopp would not have enjoyed as much success at City and Liverpool without the right people around them.

Rangnick has not had the kind of impact he would have wanted on the squad since replacing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Rangnick has not had the kind of impact he would have wanted on the squad since replacing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

‘With all respect to Jurgen and Pep, I’m sure they did not do all the things themselves,’ said Rangnick. ‘There were other people in positions to build something that we want to build here.

‘Of course, I’d want to be part of the process that has to happen. But right now, I do not know how this is being appreciated.

‘This is the question and it’s also important how Erik ten Hag sees that. Does he like to talk to someone like me? Does he want to work together? How much do Erik and the board want my opinion and my experience? That’s what we have not talked about.

‘I am interested and very much feeling this club after those five and a half months. This is one of the biggest clubs in the world. We have perfect training conditions, a great stadium and probably the best fan support I’ve ever experienced, apart from Schalke.

He said Pep Guardiola (R) and Jurgen Klopp (L) would not have enjoyed as much success at City and Liverpool without the right people around them

He said Pep Guardiola (R) and Jurgen Klopp (L) would not have enjoyed as much success at City and Liverpool without the right people around them

‘If the right lessons are being learned, this could be one of the good things from what we’re going through now. At least we know what kind of screws we need to turn. If that happens, why shouldn’t Erik be as successful as he was at Ajax?

‘I’m convinced he’s the best coach you could get right now. It’s not the manager’s quality it’s about changing all the other things. Obviously he needs the assistance of the whole club. ‘

The best legacy Rangnick could leave Ten Hag is Champions League football next season, and United continue that quest against top-four rivals Arsenal on Saturday. Rangnick remains unconvinced his team have what it takes to get over the line, however.

‘We owe it to fans traveling to London and the millions of United fans across the world,’ he said. ‘But the way we have played recently, it does not make sense to say we have a good chance to finish fourth at the end.’

The best legacy Rangnick could leave a United without Paul Pogba is Champions League football next season

The best legacy Rangnick could leave a United without Paul Pogba is Champions League football next season

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