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Rangnick ‘could not turn United down’: weekend football countdown – live!

The Guardian
The Guardian
 2021-12-03

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11.18am GMT

Burnley boss Sean Dyche has been in front of the press giving hot copy on his team’s progress and Newcastle’s spending power. Here’s what the anti-coat wearer had to say ahead of their trip to St James’ Park.

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Kevin Friend can’t quite believe how hard Sean Dyche is. Photograph: Craig Brough/Reuters

“We have found a good balance in our performances this season but there is no naivety, it is one loss in eight but also one win in eight so we have to change that side of things.

“You would prefer to be in a situation where you have only lost one in eight, it is a good situation mentally for the players, a reminder of the good work and they know they are not far away.

“Now it is about adding in the detail to win games, we have done it many times before and now it is just about delivery.”

On Eddie Howe: “I am pleased to see him back. I texted him and said I hoped it goes well, although not against us obviously.

“He will still be finding his best route and best mix of players. Long term money is very beneficial, but in the short term you have to find a way to get results. Eddie will know that.”

On Newcastle and the January transfer window: “Most teams hang on and hang on and push the financial margins for obvious reasons because they know they only have a certain window to do the deal.

“It’s very difficult to get deals done early because everyone’s marketing each other’s players and putting their own sales pitch out. It’s not only agents by the way, the clubs do it as well and before you know it it’s on the yellow line at the bottom of Sky (Sports News).

“Then of course you need a player who possibly has a reason to move. Money is obvious of course, or maybe there’s a change of manager or a falling out with the current manager.

“All of these things go into it and you have a very short period to sort this out. There are a lot of people looking at each other’s players, trying to align the deal and the right deals that can matter and not get into a position where you make deals that end up not mattering and can cost a lot of money.

“But maybe they (Newcastle) have got enough money to make things happen because everyone has a price in football. There are clubs I know that will just go: ‘Yeah, okay we’re going to sell’.

“Newcastle might have enough money, teams have done it in the past and they might be one of them. We will have to wait and see.”

11.08am GMT

Here’s last night’s match report of Manchester United 3-2 Arsenal. David Hytner was at Old Trafford (said in Gary Lineker voice).

Related: Cristiano Ronaldo seals Manchester United’s fightback victory over Arsenal

11.00am GMT

In a week when many of us have been absorbed by the Fab Four, the Premier League has continued to be a shootout between the Fab Three . Chelsea, Manchester City and Liverpool all scored away wins in midweek to move onto 33, 32 and 31 points respectively. It’s seven back to West Ham in fourth.

While Manchester United and Arsenal try and get back to where they once belonged, I have a feeling that Antonio Conte’s Spurs could be the best bets to grab fourth place.

At the other end of the table, Norwich are starting to dig it after two wins and two draws in their last four. But how many matches until Newcastle finally get a win? Maybe they’ll get one after 909.

Elsewhere, Rafa’s not for you Blues following a shocking Merseybeat and Brentford fans will be hoping to dig a Toney as they set off on their long and winding trip to Elland Road.

Grab some tea and toast, cancel your Disney subscription and take a look at this weekend’s Premier League fixtures in full. All times GMT.

Saturday 4th December

West Ham v Chelsea (12.30pm)
Newcastle v Burnley (3pm)
Southampton v Brighton (3pm)
Wolves v Liverpool (3pm)
Watford v Manchester City (5.30pm)

Sunday 5th December

Leeds v Brentford (2pm)
Manchester United v Crystal Palace (2pm)
Tottenham v Norwich (2pm)
Aston Villa v Leicester (4.30pm)

Monday 6th December

Everton v Arsenal (8pm)

Updated at 11.02am GMT

10.49am GMT

Here’s Jamie Jackson’s round-up of the Ralf Rangnick press conference .

It includes the new United boss poo-pooing the idea of a January move for Borussia Dortmund’s Erling Haaland.

Related: Ralf Rangnick open to staying beyond summer as Manchester United manager

10.39am GMT

England fan disorder at Euros was day of 'national shame'

England fan disorder at the Euro 2020 final against Italy almost led to deaths , according to an independent report.

Lady Louise Casey: “The Euro 2020 final was a potentially glorious national occasion that turned into a day of national shame. Our team of role models were in our first major final for 55 years. However they were let down by a horde of ticketless, drunken and drugged-up thugs who chose to abuse innocent, vulnerable and disabled people, as well as police officers, volunteers and Wembley staff, creating an appalling scene of disorder and coming perilously close to putting lives at risk.”

Related: England fan disorder at Euro 2020 final almost led to deaths, review finds

Updated at 10.51am GMT

10.30am GMT

Let’s widen the lens and look at some talking points on all this weekend’s Premier League fixtures.

Related: Premier League: 10 things to look out for this weekend

10.27am GMT

Having said Rangnick’s December fixture list looks welcoming , Crystal Palace could prove a tricky first opponent.

Palace took four points off United last season and have won their last two Premier League games at Old Trafford so won’t lack for confidence.

There’s also that pesky stat that Rangnick will want to eradicate sooner rather than later: United have conceded in 15 consecutive home games in all competitions. That’s their worst streak since 1959.

10.20am GMT

Ralf Rangnick starts his Manchester United mission with the team sat seventh in the Premier League table on 21 points . That’s just three behind what we presume is the target of fourth place. United are currently 10 back from third-placed Liverpool.

Here’s United’s fixture list for the rest of December:

Dec 05: Man Utd v Crystal Palace (Premier League)
Dec 08: Man Utd v Young Boys (Champions League)
Dec 11: Norwich v Man Utd (Premier League)
Dec 14: Brentford v Man Utd (Premier League)
Dec 18: Man Utd v Brighton (Premier League)
Dec 27: Newcastle v Man Utd (Premier League)
Dec 30: Man Utd v Burnley (Premier League)

Not a bad time to take the helm, it seems.

United’s next six Premier League games are against teams who currently sit 11th, 19th, 12th, 9th, 20th and 18th in the table.

10.11am GMT

Thanks Rob. A bit more on Michael Carrick. Rangnick says he wanted him to stay.

“I had a conversation with Michael for more than an hour and tried to convince him, but he needed a break and I understand his decision,” said Rangnick.

“I am more than happy to work with the current staff because I need their expertise on the current squad.”

10.00am GMT

And that’s it from me. I’ll pass the baton smoothly over to Dave Tindall for more Rangnick reaction and the countdown to the weekend’s games. Until next time.

Updated at 10.21am GMT

9.57am GMT

Cristiano Ronaldo doesn’t seem to be too worried about Ralf Rangnick’s arrival. He’s still the main man at Old Trafford, and he’s already looking ahead to Sunday …

9.50am GMT

Rangnick’s first appearance obviously went down well with United fans , who are all over social media rejoicing at his arrival. He may only be interim manager for this season, but with the two-year consultancy role to follow his commitment to the club is obvious. And he has obviously researched the club deeply. “I know about the disaster in Munich,” he said today. “The legacy of this club is unique. We have to follow this legacy and make sure the DNA will also be respected.”

9.41am GMT

So what about new signings for United? The transfer window opens next month, but Rangnick seems more concerned with long-term rather than quick-fix solutions. As we all focus on him as interim manager, the German already has one eye on the position as consultant that he will move into at the end of this season. “The club has had no continuity in signing new players and sticking to the DNA of the club,” he said. “In the future, the board members and myself have the same opinion. It’s important not to have many changes in management.”

SilentSouness 03 December 2021 9:33am

Watching United last night it really showed how they've previously bought players in the hope they will all gel because they're 'good'.

United under Rag will likely start to buy players that either fit, or can be molded, to his system of play (like Klopp does) rather than just chucking money at xyz and then wondering why id didn't work out like a game of Football Manager.

Updated at 9.46am GMT

9.36am GMT

Rangnick’s discussion of Ronaldo was particularly interesting , given he chose to focus in on the 36-year-old’s incredible fitness. It is clearly something United’s interim manager puts front and centre of his coaching ethos. “Modern football in the last 10 years, it has completely changed into a more physical, more athletic, more vertical game,” Rangnick explained at one point. “In order to develop teams, you need to train the bodies and the brains.”

Updated at 10.22am GMT

9.30am GMT

One thing that was notable from Rangnick’s words was his desire to bring order and control to the team. “It’s obvious the squad has talent and experience,” he said. “The challenge is to bring more balance into the team. Even yesterday we needed three goals to win the game. It’s almost two goals on average conceded per game and this is too much.

“Yesterday’s game was exciting for the fans but as the coach they are not the games you need every day. For me it is to minimise the coincidence factor and have control of the game.”

9.23am GMT

And that’s it. Ralf Rangnick has left the building. I will try to unpick the bigggest lines for you over the next few minutes but there is no doubt he cuts an impressive figure. He talks intelligently, offers great insight and has clearly come to Old Trafford to instigate change. Rivals be warned. Prepare to see United kicked into shape, and quickly.

9.19am GMT

Rangick talks about living in Brighton when he was younger, and learning to love British football by going to matches here. “ You will find very few football clubs with this much support. This is football in the purest sense. It’s more than exciting to be part of that atmosphere. This will help any team, especially out players, to get on a higher level.”

9.16am GMT

On Cristiano Ronaldo, Rangnick is diplomatic. “Having watched him last night, especially in the second half he made the difference. At his age I have never seen a player who is that physically fit. What I saw from Cristiano yesterday he is more than willing to put himself out there for the team. It’s not only the players who have to adapt, The team has to adapt to the players too.”

9.13am GMT

Rangnick says Brexit will not make getting coaches easy

He says he met Carrick a couple of days ago and he had already made his decision to leave. “I will try to get one, two or three people to join my coaching staff soon but it is not that easy with Brexit visa issues,” he explains.

Updated at 10.24am GMT

9.11am GMT

Rangnick praises the fans inside Old Trafford last night , but says Manchester United need to control games better.

Updated at 9.11am GMT

9.10am GMT

Rangnick is optimistic about the talent in United’s squad: “I think when Jürgen Klopp came to Liverpool it was definitely not a better squad than the one I inherited here at Manchester United.”

9.09am GMT

Rangnick talks about Sir Alex Ferguson. “Having had the same manager for 27 years it’s not that unusual after such a long successful spell you need to find a new pathway. You need continuity. I think for the future it’s important that there will be not that many changes in management.”

Updated at 10.23am GMT

9.07am GMT

The Guardian’s Jamie Jackson asks how easy will it be to turn round Manchester United? “It’s about getting to know the players, speaking to them and letting them know what the approach will be. I am very ambitious and want the best. We have to be realistic, the distance between us and the top three is big. It’s about developing performances and letting the team get the felling of how we can control the game.”

9.05am GMT

Rangnick says he wants to change things, but he is realistic. “ The aim is to win the next game but I have maybe one training session before Sunday I will introduce myself to the players this afternoon. There are many things that you can change on the training pitch but it will not be easy in the middle of the season. You cannot change everything in one or two weeks.”

9.03am GMT

Ralf Rangnick: 'You cannot turn Manchester United down'

Ragnick speaks. “If a club like Man United contacts you for such a role, you cannot possibly turn it down.”

Updated at 9.08am GMT

8.59am GMT

Michael Carrick announced he was leaving Manchester United immediately after the final whistle last night . He says he had made the decision himself, partly due to “loyalty” to Ole Gunnar Solskjær, after 15 years at the club as a player and coach …

“It is 100% my decision. I respect a new manager coming in. I made the decision before speaking to him. It wasn’t an easy one but [it is the] right decision for the club. The loyalty to Ole is a little bit of a factor but there were a lot of things that came into my decision.

Read Jamie Jackson’s full story here …

Related: Michael Carrick announces his departure from Manchester United

8.48am GMT

Preamble

Michael Carrick has gone. Manchester United are winning again. And Ralf Rangnick is here to rescue this great club from freefall. Everything is rosy again in the Old Trafford garden. Or is it?

Rangnick is due to do his first United press conference at 9am this morning and it will be very interesting to see what he made of last night’s rollercoaster win over Arsenal. Cristiano Ronaldo, the man who supposedly cannot press, and therefore will not fit into his new interim manager’s system, passed 800 goals and was the biggest reason United prevailed over Mikel Arteta’s side. A season that promises a title race to saviour may now have a top-four battle to match.

Rafael Benítez is under serious pressure, Newcastle face another must-win game at home to Burnley, West Ham host Chelsea in the early game on Saturday and, of course, Rangnick takes charge of his first game against Crystal Palace on Sunday. We’ll have all the early team news, previews, and hear what the managers think right here.

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