Ralph Rangnick is expected to be named as Manchester United’s new interim manager according to The Athletic, and the 63-year-old has previously praised Liverpool and Jurgen Klopp which will be much to the annoyance of the United faithful.
The former RB Leipzig manager, who is currently head of sports and development at Lokomotiv Moscow and has reportedly signed a six-month contract at Old Trafford, has previously spoken highly of the Reds’ front three and believes their success is a result of Klopp’s work on the training ground.
“Salah, Firmino and Mane. Three different players from different countries,” Rangnick told Coaches Voice (via Liverpool Echo).
“When they joined Liverpool, none of them were natural-born ball winners. They were not pressing machines. So the way they play at Liverpool has been the job of the coach and the staff.
“The way Salah, Firmino and Mane played in the last three or four years, on that high level, that intense kind of football, was the job of the coach.”
The German has also admitted that the style of play that his former teams have adopted resembles the tactics of Klopp’s Liverpool.
“The style is very similar to Jurgen’s,” he told Sky Sports in December 2019 (via Liverpool Echo).
“It’s proactive, it’s high pressing, counter-pressing. Once we have won the ball we don’t want to waste any time by square passes or back passes.
“We are trying to play forward as quickly as possible, trying to create chances, trying to score as many goals as possible.
“It’s definitely no coincidence that [Klopp] has four former players of mine (Roberto Firmino, Naby Keita, Sadio Mane and Joel Matip) because it shows that he is, in fact, looking for the same kind of players, with the same assets, with the same mentality as we do.
“And, I think, out of the top clubs in Europe, he’s probably the coach with the highest number of former players from us.”
He can certainly try and get his side playing like us but that won’t be easy.
United may have some decent players like Cristiano Ronaldo, Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho but that doesn’t mean that Rangnick will be able to get them to perform to the standards our front-three do.
With Ronaldo now at 36, it is unlikely that he’ll be able to, or be willing to, constantly press defenders for 90 minutes like Firmino does.
Once again it’s good to see the Reds setting the standard and being the benchmark for where teams want to be.