Ralf Rangnick could use 'countdown clock' in training at Man Utd

Ralf Rangnick could use special ‘countdown clock’ in training as he plans to drill his ‘Gegenpressing’ doctrine into his Manchester United players

  • United’s soon-to-be interim manager is among the architects of ‘Gegenpressing’
  • Tactical approach has heavily influenced Jurgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel
  • Rangnick demands his players win possession back within eight seconds
  • German could have custom-made clock installed at United’s training ground 

Manchester United players could face a ‘countdown clock’ in training under Ralf Rangnick as part of his plans to turn the 20-time champions of England into a high-intensity pressing team.

United are set to appoint the German as interim manager until the end of the season and then retain him as club consultant for the next two years after firing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Sunday. 

Rangnick is expected to revolutionise United’s tactical approach and, according to The Telegraph, he could start by introducing a custom-made clock to be installed at the club’s Carrington training complex.

Ralf Rangnick will take over at Manchester United as interim manager until the end of the season before taking on a two-year consultant role at Old Trafford

The 63-year-old, who has been provided with videos of training sessions under Solskjaer to get an idea of what his players need, to inculcate his tactical doctrine into his players. 

As one of the fathers of Gegenpressing (counter-pressing), Rangnick wants his players to win the ball back within eight seconds of losing it and no more than 10 seconds to elapse between getting possession back and having a shot on goal.

The German manager has previously used a ‘countdown clock’ to drill into his players at RB Leipzing and some of his other former clubs the importance of a coordinate, high-intensity pressing.  

‘The most exciting thing for me is to see how the transition game has developed and accelerated,’ he told Coaches’ Voices.

The 63-year-old is one of the architects of the Gegenpressing (counter-pressing) approach

Rangnick wants his players to win possession back within eight seconds of losing the ball

‘There’s so much happening in the eight to 10 seconds after the ball is won or lost. Those moments decide games, and a large part of our training is dedicated to what we call swarming behaviour; the synchronised movement of players.’

In the same piece, the German also reiterated his beliefs that to ‘increase the speed of your game, you will have to develop quicker minds rather than quicker feet.’ 

Rangnick’s approach has revolutionised German football and heavily influenced both Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp and Chelsea boss Thomas Tuchel, whom Rangnick gave his first coaching job to as Stuttgart’s youth manager.

‘He helped me a lot because he was my coach and then he was one of the main figures to convince me to try coaching, so he had a huge influence on all of us at this time,’ Tuchel, whose Chelsea side welcome United on Sunday, said during his press conference on Friday. 

Jurgen Klopp (left) has previously praised Rangnick as the best German coach in history

Under Solskjaer, United often looked badly disjointed when they tried to win possession back. 

The lack of a coordinate pressing was at its most evident in the 5-0 thrashing at the hands of Liverpool last month, when Klopp’s men repeatedly carved United wide open.

Rangnick, however, is expected to turn United into a much more drilled unit and Klopp admitted his compatriot’s arrival was not good news for the Premier League.

Rangnick will evaluate the credentials of United’s coaching staff once he takes charge 

‘Yeah, unfortunately a good coach is coming to England so that’s how it is, to Manchester United,’ he said.

‘United will be organised on the pitch I think we should realise that and that’s obviously not good news for other teams.’ 

Meanwhile, Rangnick is expected to bring some of his former coaching staff with him, most notably Lars Kornetka, with whom he worked previously at RB Leipzig, Schalke and Hoffenheim.

It is understood he will assess the credentials of Michael Carrick, Kieran McKenna, Mike Phelan and United’s other coaches once in charge. 

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