On The Ball

'Farewell nostalgia, hello philosophy' for Ralf Rangnick

Ralf Rangnick has been nicknamed "the godfather of gegenpressing". PHOTO: EPA-EFE
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Chelsea could press. Liverpool could press. Manchester City could press. Manchester United could not. Their inability to play a front-foot game, to harry opponents and win the ball back high up the pitch under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, was exposed most embarrassingly in their 5-0 thrashing by Liverpool. They looked an anachronism, talking about "United DNA" without recognising that football has changed.

Enter "the godfather of gegenpressing", as Ralf Rangnick has been nicknamed. United's interim manager, who may not be in charge for today's trip to Chelsea, represents a radical shift in thinking. Farewell to nostalgia, hello to a philosophy.

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