Manchester United’s Ralf Rangnick’s famous disgust explains why Erik ten Hag still has a job

Manchester United have made countless mistakes in the years since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement.

Here’s a good game to play with your pub mates: List them all in order. The first is obvious – they didn’t hire a director of football in 2013 to assist with the transition period after Ferguson’s exit.

That United didn’t hire Ralf Rangnick as director of football when he was literally presented to them in 2022 was another catastrophic error. Fortunately, INEOS is finally on the mend with the pillar appointments of Jason Wilcox and Dan Ashworth.

But make no mistake, United’s misuse of Rangnick was criminal. Here he was one of the best sporting directors in the game, but United used him as a babysitter. The German regularly showed the breadth of his footballing experience during his interim spell as manager and ultimately provided too many home truths for the Glazers to retain him as a consultant as originally planned. Perhaps Rangnick’s most famous (or should that be infamous?) rant was his April 2022 “open heart surgery” revelation, days after a 4-1 defeat at Liverpool.

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Amid a desperate run of results – although United have already lost more games this season than in 2021/22 and are set to finish two places lower – Rangnick has told United exactly how to get back to the top.

“It is not enough to do some minor changes – cosmetic things. In medicine you would say this is open heart surgery,” he said. “If this is happening and everyone has realized that it needs to happen and if people want to work together, then it makes sense and I think it doesn’t take two or three years to change these things.

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