Manchester United fans are anticipating a new era of Gegenpressing at Old Trafford as the tenure of new boss Ralf Rangnick gets set to begin.
The German coach is highly regarded by compatriots Jurgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel among others, though his appointment probably caught a few Red Devils fans off guard.
As the excitement builds around the idea of a new playing style implemented at Man United, here’s a look at when Rangnick is projected to take over the Red Devils’ hotseat. He was spotted at Old Trafford on Wednesday, Dec. 1.
Ralf Rangnick was at Old Trafford today together with John Murtough. It’s his first time into the stadium – he was dreaming of Premier League chance, it’s now time to start. 🔴 #MUFC
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) December 1, 2021
When is Ralf Rangnick’s first game?
It is not clear exactly when Rangnick will officially be in the dugout as Manchester United manager, with administrative delays preventing an immediate appearance. He will not be directing proceedings in the December 2 game against Arsenal as a result.
However, it is possible that the German coach will manage his first game when United hosts Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on Sunday Dec. 5. The next match would be the Champions League group-stage finale against Young Boys on Wednesday Dec. 8, a fixture which will also be played at Old Trafford.
While Rangnick was officially confirmed as the new Red Devils boss on Nov. 29, the club confirmed that caretaker manager Michael Carrick would remain in charge until the former RB Leipzig boss is officially cleared to take his place on the sideline. Carrick took over for his old boss, Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, when he was let go on Nov. 21.
Carrick took the reins on a temporary basis following the departure of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the club indicated that the former midfielder would continue in the role for the Premier League clash against Arsenal. Nevertheless, there have been suggestions that the new interim manager will be a spectator at the game.
“I haven’t really got anything to update you on,” Carrick told reporters when asked about the possibility of Rangnick being at the Arsenal game. “I’m in the position I was for Villarreal and Chelsea, getting the boys ready for the game tomorrow night.”
What’s the delay in Rangnick taking over?
Despite his appointment at the end of November, Rangnick was delayed from taking over immediately as Manchester United manager because of work permit visa requirements arising post Brexit.
As a non-UK citizen wishing to work in the UK, the German coach must meet a number of criteria in order to be allowed to take up employment as United boss. A key part of this process is obtaining a Governing Body Endorsement (GBE) from the Football Association.
A GBE involves a points-based system which takes into account an individual’s qualifications and experience.
In the case of Rangnick, the situation is complicated by the fact that he has not managed a ‘Top Club’ for a ‘Prescribed Time’ in the last five years — the ‘Prescribed Time’ being either a cumulative total of at least 36 months or a consecutive total of 24 months (two years).
Rangnick’s most recent managerial job in the last five years was between 2018 and 2019, when he managed RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga for 11 months. His executive roles as sporting director, which he held at Lokomotiv Moscow and Leipzig, do not count towards the process, so he and Manchester United must seek an exception through the Exceptions Panel.
They must demonstrate to the panel that Rangnick is “of the highest caliber” and that he “is able to contribute significantly the development of the game at the top level in England”. His previous positions and the leagues he has worked in will be taken into account by the panel.