Ralf Rangnick is coming in to try and rebuild Manchester United.
I think his main focus is rebuilding and trying to get things in place and get some kind of identity for the club. He’s got six months to do it and then another manager will come in to try and ensure the structure that Rangnick has started building gets carried on and the next steps are taken.
I don’t know if it’s going to work. This is a new path for Manchester United and new for English football. If Rangnick becomes a technical director then the next manager must want to work with him because you can’t have two people battling over how they want to play and the individuals that they want to come in. I prefer that if you have a manager he knows what he wants and who he wants to work with, and then it’s up to the technical director to double check the player and have an opinion as well, so they are both singing from similar hymn sheets. If Manchester United can’t get that harmony at the end of the season with the new manager then they are wasting time and money again.
Premier League
Lindelof to miss Man Utd game against West Ham following ‘scary’ break-in
5 HOURS AGO
There's been a lot of talk about the pressing that Rangnick might implement. Football is quite simple; from a very young age players are asked to close down, because if you don’t close down and tackle you don’t get the ball. Every player, when they become a professional, signs an unwritten contract that says to their team-mates and manager ‘I’m going to work hard for you’. That should be there already and if they don’t want to do it they should look for another club.
Pressing has become a catchphrase in football, it’s been known for years as 'closing down'. That’s what’s football is all about and it’s not a German thing, it’s universal. Rangnick will come over and will be asking people to work hard, which is what they should be doing already. They are all fit enough, but if they don’t have that desire and or drive then they are not good for a top team right now. When you watch Manchester City and Liverpool they have been successful for several years because they try and win the ball back as quickly as possible and attack with a tempo. It’s not new, but Manchester United have not been doing it.
It’s going to take time. It might take a year before United get close to doing it properly, you don’t get it within two days, they are not going to start chasing more and immediately winning things. You need the right tools and that is the individuals who have it in their DNA, Manchester United haven’t got that right now. So it will take a cycle and change of personnel. Some will be led by example but others won’t be able to do it. They might do one week on the Saturday but in midweek they have to be reminded again, and those kind of players will not be needed at the club.

'A little bit of freshness' - Carrick explains Ronaldo decision

I would be very surprised if Cristiano Ronaldo doesn’t try and do it. He doesn’t want to make himself look silly and he still wants to prove himself at Manchester United. He wants to be the oldest player at top-level football and still wants to be as fit as anybody. He will have a go and his other qualities will help him. You don’t need 11 robots out there, you still need a bit of guile and someone who can improvise and make something out of nothing. But you can’t carry too many of them, and I do think Rangnick was involved in the decision to drop Ronaldo against Chelsea at the weekend. I don't think Michael Carrick would have done that unless he was told to.
What does it mean for Paul Pogba? Nobody really knows, we will have to see what happens. There have been too many managers where the same stories have come round with Pogba. Manchester United do not need those stories now, they need positive stories and to look ahead.
Jadon Sancho should be used to it because he’s had an education in German football. He will adapt to it because he has trained and played in the Bundesliga and seen the emphasis on pressing. Mason Greenwood is young, it will be a different culture for him but he should adapt.

Jadon Sancho celebrates scoring against Chelsea

Image credit: Getty Images

It could be a problem for Marcus Rashford because he hasn’t really stepped on from his debut. He had a great couple of years but he needs to get on track to be looked as a really top young player. At the moment that’s not there. He’s not doing what’s written on the can: playing well consistently, making those runs, making good decisions. He’s not playing to his strengths.
What Rangnick wants to do is going to take time and there will be stories about players being unhappy, but that’s to be expected. If it suddenly happens then every player deserves to be sacked, because all they have done is cheated the previous manager.
It isn’t going to be a bed of roses, you will see different rules implemented on and off the pitch. Some players will struggle to adjust to it, some will hit the ground running, maybe not the players that some people were expecting.
I think right now Manchester United are perhaps prepared for a bit of failure this season to make a change and properly alter the make-up of the club for the first time since Sir Alex Ferguson left. These players have let managers down and it has been the same scenario every time, so it’s got to the point where you can’t really blame the manager. You have to look at it and say the players need to be treated differently: they have to start becoming elite players.
Transfers
Pogba ready to quit United for Real - Paper Round
21 HOURS AGO
Transfers
PSG, MLS or the Middle East - Where could frustrated Ronaldo land next?
YESTERDAY AT 10:53