While Erik ten Hag was announced as the new coach by Manchester United, the simultaneous sacking of interim coach/ technical director Ralf Rangnick came as a surprise to many United fans.
Back in November when the German was appointed as head coach, it was also agreed that while he would vacate the position at the end of the season, he would remain at the club as a consultant to ensure the club have a solid sporting project.
As United have lacked clear cut planning and direction in the past years since the exit of Sir Alex Ferguson, retaining Rangnick was seen as a positive sign by many United supporters to break a vicious cycle of poor performances.
However, the club confirmed in a statement on Sunday that Rangnick was leaving behind even the consultancy role due to the demands of his new coaching job with Austria which he landed last month.
The German endured a torrid time steering a capsizing ship that was United’s season and while it was not pretty, Rangnick did manage to seal a Europa League qualification for the club by finishing 6th.
Despite the difficulties of the interim coaching role and the sudden severing of all ties with United, Rangnick has kicked off his role as Austria’s head coach with a convincing 3-0 win against World Cup finalists Croatia during their Group A encounter in the Nations League.
Although Austria had failed to seal a spot at the Qatar World Cup, they surely did play like a team worthy of playing on the big stage on Friday with some silky attacking transitions that Croatia was no match for.
The first goal of the night scored by Marko Arnautovic came after the Austrian defence played through the Croatian press and with just two-three passes Arnautovic had enough space to finish the move with a low-driven effort from inside the box.
Rangnick received great appreciation from the footballing world for having drilled his ideas into a squad without the quality or star power of United in such a short time. But his side’s display on Friday has left United fans reeling in annoyance as their group of players failed to respond to the German’s ideas.
While Rangnick drew heavy flak for poor results during his time at United, this sudden overturn of fortunes by the manager has convinced numerous Red Devils fans that the club’s hierarchy and the group of players deserved the majority of criticism instead. Check out the Twitter reactions below –
Man United supporters would be hoping for a better response from the squad next as they are set to work under an even more demanding figure than Rangnick, in Erik ten Hag.