Ralf Rangnick says United will need ‘open heart’ surgery to start under Erik ten Hag

Interim manager Ralf Rangnick has warned Manchester United need ‘open heart’ surgery if they are to take over under Erik ten Hag’s successor.

Placed in caretaker charge following the departure of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in November, the highly rated German coach struggled to get a cohesive tune from the Red Devils’ stuttering stars.

This period in the Old Trafford dugout has laid bare a number of issues for Rangnick, who knows a thing or two about building success having overseen the rise of RB Leipzig and sister club RB Salzburg.

The 63-year-old didn’t hold back from the sinkhole of Liverpool and Manchester City, with the club’s late run for Champions League qualification continuing at top-four rivals Arsenal on Saturday.

Rangnick’s short-term target comes with a long-term appreciation of what United need, who may have made a ‘right call’ in appointing Ajax boss Ten Hag as manager permanent, but still needs to do much more.

“I’m pretty confident he’s the best possible coach you can have right now,” the caretaker manager said.

“All other things, as sad as they are and as frustrating as it may seem right now for everyone involved – and believe me, for me it’s extremely, terribly frustrating because over the past 10 years, if not 15 years, we have only experienced success, me too as a sports director and football coach.

“But in football you are not always on the right side. Right now we are on the other side.

“But the good thing about what happened, one of the very few good things, is that it’s crystal clear. It’s not that hard (to see). You don’t even need glasses to scan and see where the problems are.

“So now it’s just a question of how to solve them?” For me, it’s clear that it’s not enough to make a few minor tweaks, a few glitches here and there, a few cosmetic things.

“No, in medicine you would see it’s open heart surgery, so there’s more to change than a few things here and a few things there, and that’s the good thing.

“If it’s happening, if everyone has realized it needs to happen and if people want to work together, then it makes sense and I still believe it’s not necessary and it takes two or three years to change these things.

“It can happen in a year. Other clubs not too far from here have shown that it doesn’t take two, three, four years, that it’s possible in one, two or maybe three transfer windows.

Rangnick says strong leadership is needed to oversee the changes and stressed that it’s not something “one person as a manager can do.”

The interim boss said that “in all areas you need to have top people and they need to work together very closely and very reliably”.

Rangnick would like help with making the changes, but it remains to be seen what his future involvement will be, despite an agreement already in place for him to stay beyond the season in a consulting role.

“At least we have an agreement on this role,” he said of the two-year term agreed in November.

“But in the end, it’s not about what’s been written on paper or what’s agreed, it’s about what’s actually going to happen in everyday life and in everyone’s business. days. This is the question.

“At the end of the day, it’s also important, how does Erik ten Hag see it? Does he like talking with someone like me? How much do they want to work together? These are things we haven’t talked about yet.

“I’m not worried about it at all, but for me it’s not about having agreed a contract or anything for the next two years.

“I’m turning 64 very soon. For me it’s not about having a contract on paper, it’s about what’s really going to happen – how well Erik ten Hag and the board of Manchester United do they really want to know about the opinion, about my experience?That’s what we haven’t talked about.

Rangnick believes Paul Pogba played his last game for Manchester United.

The 29-year-old came through the youth training at Old Trafford and joined the club in 2016 after a successful move to Juventus for a then-world record fee.

But Pogba’s return hasn’t worked out the way either side would like and the World Cup winner looks set to leave United this summer when his contract expires.

There are few signs of him agreeing to a new deal, meaning the 10 minutes he managed before hobbling with a calf injury in Tuesday’s sweet 4-0 defeat at Liverpool will likely be his last. for the club.

Rangnick says Pogba faces a minimum of four weeks on the sidelines which would end a disappointing spell.

“It doesn’t make sense at the moment (to talk about his characterization as a player),” the caretaker boss said when asked if the midfielder was an enigma.

” He is wounded. He is a player who won the World Cup with France. He’s such a good player that he was a regular starter for a team like France.

“We all know what kind of potential he has and what kind of good player he can be.

“But he, like a few other players, struggled to sustainably get his best performance on the pitch for a team like Manchester United.

“That was not just the case this season or the last two weeks as far as I remember, it was also the case in previous years.”