Ralf Rangnick got a good glimpse of his new Manchester United team during the Premier League clash with Arsenal on Thursday night.
Although the newly-appointed German won’t take to the dugout until the Crystal Palace clash on Sunday, he still had the perfect spot from which to analyse the Red Devils in the Old Trafford stands.
Rangnick watches Man Utd vs Arsenal
It wasn’t the type of performance that will have Rangnick rubbing his hands together at the prospect of a Premier League title challenge, but there were certainly plenty of positives to work with.
In fact, the former RB Leipzig coach might have been feeling a little smug about the two goals that the Red Devils scored from open play because they happened to channel one of his principles.
Rangnick is world-renowned for championing a high-pressing brand of football where the impetus is on regaining possession and get shots off at goal as quickly as possible.
Man Utd 3-2 Arsenal Match Reaction (Football Terrace)
Rangnick’s eight and ten-second games
In the words of the man himself during his Hoffenheim spell: “We’ve had a countdown clock custom made for us. The assistant coach activates it and it starts ticking.
“We use it for a game called the eight-second rule. The players can hear that ticking and they know they have to get the ball back within eight seconds or, if they have possession, they need to take a shot within 10 seconds.
“It can be irritating for them at first but what we noticed is this type of training can affect players. Within weeks, they adjust their style of play and it becomes an instinct.”
Man Utd nailed it vs Arsenal
And eagle-eyed United fans might have noticed that Fernandes’ strike, as well as Ronaldo’s first goal, were both scored less than 10 seconds after a turnover in possession.
Rangnick would certainly be proud to see that his squad managed to get a shot off a goal within a 10-second window of inheriting the ball from Arsenal just like his infamously rapid training session.
In fact, see for yourself with United slickly working the ball around the penalty area to tee up a shot in swifter style than you might have appreciated the first time you watched the goals – check it out:
Rangnick had to have had a wry smile when he saw United turn things around like that.
Positives to work with for Rangnick
Now, it’s worth saying that United didn’t regain possession in the sort of gut-busting fashion that Rangnick might have preferred, but it’s certainly promising that they can work a move so rapidly.
And if the 63-year-old can start to inspire the sort of ‘gegenpressing’ that has been so successful at Liverpool to work on the eight-second rule, too, then United could be laughing their way to the net.
That being said, Rome, nor Manchester, wasn’t build in a day, so even an eight and ten-second rule might take eight or ten months to implement. For now, though, United are well on their way…