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Don't lose sight of Ralf Rangnick's long-term value for Manchester United - Jonathan Wilson

Ralf Rangnick's value can still be felt at Manchester United, even though he's clearly not the answer as the manager.

Journalist Jonathan Wilson joined The Football Show on Wednesday to discuss Manchester United and Ralf Rangnick.

Anthony Elanga is making a name for himself.

The Manchester United winger came off the bench and scored against Atletico Madrid in the Champions League. He rescued a game that was a disaster for Manchester United before then. It is still a disaster for them really. Ralf Rangnick's side spent most of the game in possession at the back, scared of what was about to happen.

Rangnick started Victor Lindelof at right back. Lindelof was fine individually, but the lack of balance in the team was notable. United couldn't get out of their own third, never mind their own half for most of the game. Atletico were happy to let them have the ball, then take it off them high upfield to create chances.

Fortunately for United, there was little cutting edge from the home side. A team with greater ambition or quality in the final third would have scored three, four or five before Elanga stepped onto the field.

It's a performance that makes you wonder what the value of Ralf Rangnick is.

Jonathan Wilson values Rangnick as a football mind. But he doesn't believe that the manager was the right fit for United when they hired him. Considering United hired him as an interim manager, they seemingly agreed. He hasn't settled the side but he could still play a key role in building long-term success at the club.

"I'm fundamentally very pro-Rangnick in what he's done as a sporting director," Wilson said.

"He really, as much as anybody, has set the terms in this revolution in German football over the past decade. Jurgen Klopp has played a huge role as well but it was Rangnick who was there at the start. This German school of pressing, it's origin story is Rangnick as a 1984."

From Thomas Tuchel to Jurgen Klopp, it's not hard to find someone to vouch for Rangnick. He is a visionary. He envisioned modern football before anyone else and that buys him credit at the top of the sport. Manchester United need a visionary.

Rangnick isn't able to be a top-end manager. But he should be able to identify one. He should be able to install someone who can build a philosophy and culture of success.

Ed Woodward and the Glazers never did that. They built great commercial success but repeatedly failed with managers and in the transfer market. If the club trusts Rangnick to make the football decisions, it should lead to long-term success.

"I can completely understand why Manchester United would want Rangnick at the club as a sporting director or director of football. To set the philosophy. To get the recruitment right, to set the scouting right and to put in place a coach who will pursue that philosophy that he sees as the guiding philosophy of the club.

"I don't know what he's doing there as a coach.

"He's spent one season coaching in the last decade. When he was coaching at Schaalke over a decade ago, he openly admitted he found the pressure too much to deal with. Schaalke are a big club. But not as big a club as Manchester United. The pressure at Schaalke is not going to be the pressure he faces here.

"And he's an interim manager. Nobody knows what's happening in the summer. Rangnick doesn't know. As far as I'm aware there's been no meeting between Rangnick and Richard Arnold, the new CEO. He has this consultancy role moving forward, nobody seems to know what that actually means.

"He has no real authority because nobody knows what he's doing next season."

Manchester United will keep plodding through the rest of this season. But in reality, nothing that happens between now and the summer will matter once the bigger decisions are made.

Adam Idah out for the season with a knee injury


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Football Show Jonathan Wilson Manchester United Ralf Rangnick