The former RB Leipzig boss will take the reins at Old Trafford for the first time this weekend when Manchester United welcome Patrick Vieira’s Crystal Palace to the Theatre of Dreams
As the dust settles on Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’ s failed tenure as Manchester United boss and the Ralf Rangnick -era begins, one thing has become abundantly clear – the club must distance itself from Sir Alex Ferguson ‘s legacy.
While the mere mention of anything slightly negative associated with the Scot is likely to provoke fierce backlash from the most devout Ferguson followers, this is not the former United manager’s fault.
However, what is undeniable is that United as a club, from fans to staff and even former players-turned-pundits alike are hellbent on continuing in a manner they hope their former boss would approve of.
It has often come at their detriment, rivals fans were quick to point out the bizarre nature of Solskjaer’s devotion to his old manager.
The infamous parking space comment, where the Norwegian claimed he does not park in the designated manager’s parking space as he believes it still belongs to Ferguson, lives long in the memory.
“It just doesn’t feel right parking there,” Solskjaer is said to have told colleagues. “It’s still the gaffer’s place.”
United’s desperation to cling on to their past glories have harmed their immediate future, with the star-studded array of former United stars now analysing games in TV studio’s still referring to Ferguson as boss – despite having been out of the job for nearly a decade.
During many of the hammerings United took under Solskjaer (and there were many), television cameras would often pan to a disappointed Ferguson in the crowd.
The United icon would glare down at his former player who also wore the facial expression of someone who knew exactly what was happening.
However, Rangnick already seems to have shown a harder exterior, like he is his own manager that will not bend or buckle under the weight of contemplating what Ferguson might do.
In fact, he has already alluded to the fact he will spearhead a change in mentality during his six-month tenure and potentially beyond while enjoying a consultancy role in the club’s boardroom.
Manchester United via Getty Imag)
Speaking at his first press conference as United’s interim manager, Rangnick revealed: “Having had Sir Alex for so many years is unique and for me, it’s not that unusual that after such a long and successful spell a club needs to find a new pathway.”
The 63-year-old has already addressed some of United’s post-Ferguson failings: “The club has had no continuity in signing new players and sticking to the DNA of the club,’ he explained.
“In the future, the board members and my self have the same opinion. It’s important not to have many changes in management.”
Given Rangnick’s proven track record at transforming a club’s track record both as a manager and director, he is likely to succeed in finding the new pathway both he and United crave.