Ralf Rangnick will take charge of his first game as Manchester United boss this afternoon against Crystal Palace having had little time to work with his squad since being appointed
Ralf Rangnick was able to get an early look at his Manchester United players on the training ground before he sees them in match action.
The German will be in the dugout for the first time when the Red Devils host Crystal Palace on Sunday.
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s tenure ended with a raft of poor results and Rangnick now needs to turnaround the club’s fortunes.
Fortunately for him he is working with a star-studded squad, although it has performed well below par this term.
Putting the pieces together will be key to him getting off to a positive start with plenty of questions still needing to be answered.
On Friday he said: “I think it’s also obvious the team has an abundance of young talent, and enough experienced players in the squad, but the target for me is to bring more balance in the team.”
Cristiano Ronaldo’s role and future has been questioned, with his playing style seemingly clashing with Rangnick’s renowned philosophy.
The German insists there will be no clash however as he gets to grips with his current crop of players.
Rangnick also claimed: “It is literally one training session, so there are not many things that you can work on in just one session.
“Speaking to the players and letting them know what the approach will be, it will not be easy in the middle of the season.”
We take a look at his first training session for any clues as to what the future may hold.
Embedding the philosophy
Rangnick said he didn’t have much time to work with his players prior to seeing them on the pitch for the first time.
That said, there is no time like the present and the United squad will no doubt have endured something of a football education.
The German is renowned for having a clear philosophy which centres around high-intensity and a relentless press.
Rangnick also spoke on Friday about the desire to see his team control games with greater ease, having been in the stands for the back and forth encounter against Arsenal on Thursday night.
Of course, with any new idea, it’ll take time, but the new man in the dugout looks to have been imparting his wisdom in an attempt to lay down the foundations.
Leaning on the coaches
The likes of Kieran McKenna copped plenty of criticism as the Solskjaer era came to an end.
Their lack of experience was seen as a major issue, especially given the Norwegian was relatively new to coaching a top side.
Rangnick though claimed on Friday he was more than happy to work with the current staff, whilst wanting to bring in a few of his own.
McKenna and Co. already have a relationship with the current squad and will know them far better than Rangnick, who will still be building an opinion.
The German was seen in regular dialogue with his assistants, who could also benefit hugely from his knowledge.
Martial’s clean slate
When any new manager comes in there will be winners and losers. Those who were fancied – or shunned – by the previous regime have the opportunity to begin a fresh.
That may be exactly what Anthony Martial needs, following a difficult time of it.
Ever since he signed the Frenchman has only provided glimpses of his best work, which has been a cause of frustration to many.
He’s been heavily linked with the exit door but may now have one final chance to impress with Rangnick set to draw his own opinion on the squad.
Capable of playing as a No.9 or out wide, Martial offers plenty of options and was being watched closely.
One day we might found out if Donny van de Beek was actually Solskjaer’s signing or not.
You’d be forgiven for thinking he wasn’t based on the lack of game time afforded to the Dutchman.
His continued omission even began to baffle some of his teammates during the latter stages of the Solskjaer era, but Van de Beek can now look to impress a manager who, on paper, would usually fancy a player of his ilk.
Van de Beek’s versatility has never been properly utilised and Rangnick may yet draw on that.