David Alaba leaps to Ralf Rangnick’s defense and explains Man Utd failure


Ralf Rangnick endured a dismal spell in interim charge of Manchester United and did not take up a consultancy role with the Red Devils following the appointment of Erik ten Hag

David Alaba has defender Ralf Rangnick following his poor spell in charge at Manchester United
David Alaba has defended Ralf Rangnick following his poor spell in charge at Manchester United

David Alaba has praised Ralf Rangnick’s immediate impact with Austria and believes he was not afforded the time to prove a success with Manchester United.

Rangnick was appointed on an interim basis following the Red Devils decision to dismiss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in November last year. The 63-year-old had forged his reputation in German football through spells in charge of the likes of RB Leipzig, Hoffenheim and Schalke.

However, Rangnick endured a dismal stint in the Old Trafford dugout as United recorded their lowest ever Premier League points tally and missed out on a top-four finish. The Red Devils will compete in the Europa League next season, and finished 35 points adrift of Manchester City at the summit.

It was not only results and performances on the pitch which tarnished Rangnick’s reputation among United fans and commentators alike. The interim boss publicly admitted fourth place was the club’s target as early as February, despite their pre-season status as title contenders.

Cristiano Ronaldo was reportedly angered by his omission from the matchday squad for the heavy derby defeat at rivals City the following month. Rangnick then was said to have angered the Red Devils hierarchy with his withering assessment of the club’s status following another heavy loss, this time at Liverpool in April.

The former United boss told reporters after the four-goal thrashing: “It is embarrassing, it is disappointing, maybe even humiliating. We have to accept they are six years ahead of us now.

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“When Jurgen Klopp came they changed at the club and lifted not just the team but the club and city to a new level. That is what needs to happen with us in the next transfer windows.”


Solskjaer’s successor Erik ten Hag is facing a substantial rebuild at Old Trafford this summer, with reports indicating the former Ajax boss will be handed a transfer budget in excess of £ 100 million. Rangnick was initially expected to remain with United in a consultancy role, but this arrangement was terminated in favor of allowing the stop-gap manager to take on a full-time role with Austria.

Rangnick made an immediate impact in the new position, with Austria securing an emphatic 3-0 victory at Croatia in their opening Nations League fixture. A narrow home defeat to Denmark followed, and Real Madrid star David Alaba has been quick to praise the new manager’s influence so far.

The former Bayern Munich defender told the Athletic: “He has been really good, you can see we have a really good plan and you can see it works for us on the pitch. He does not want us to let the opponents breathe air. It’s good for us. “

Alaba added: “I have known Ralf since I was 18 years old and he is a world-class coach. What he did in the past is something special and now I am seeing it close up.

“He showed what he can do at Leipzig, Salzburg and Hoffenheim. He did not have a lot of time in Manchester. He has a really good plan and knows a lot about football.”

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