Man Utd boss Ralf Rangnick’s time at Lokomotiv Moscow: Fraud, or misunderstood?

If you had learn the Russian press — and particularly Russian social networks — in current days, then you definately would have come away with the impression that Ralf Rangnick’s work at Lokomotiv Moscow was vastly unpopular.

Most journalists and followers are outraged by the obvious injury the German tactician did to the membership, just for him to then immediately depart in order to take the interim supervisor’s job at Manchester United.

As described by Sergey Kolesnikov of, some declare that Rangnick’s tenure has been “the largest fraud in Russian soccer historical past.”


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Dmitry Selyuk, the provocative agent finest identified for representing Yaya Toure, in contrast Rangnick to Ostap Bender, probably the most well-known fictional criminal in Russian literature.

Countless jokes and memes have been unfold far and broad, leaving Lokomotiv to be laughed at mercilessly by rival supporters.

Rangnick is being blamed for dismantling a good staff that was pretty useful final season, ending third in order to qualify for Europa League, whereas additionally successful the Russian Cup.


But following a serious summer season overhaul, they’re now 11 factors behind leaders Zenit after simply 16 matches, having gained simply two of their final 9 fixtures. On Monday, they have been soundly thrashed 3-1 by lowly Arsenal Tula.

Rangnick’s first unpopular choice after his appointment in July was promoting midfield stalwart Grzegorz Krychowiak towards the participant’s needs. The Poland worldwide was purchased by Lokomotiv’s direct rivals Krasnodar for simply €2.5 million (£2.1 million/$2.8 million) in early August, and is having fun with a powerful season, with 4 objectives to his identify thus far.

MORE; Rangnick explains how Cristiano Ronaldo suits into his Manchester United plans

The record of summer season signings, in the meantime, included French midfielder Alexis Beka Beka from Ligue 2 outfit Caen and Dutch winger Gyrano Kerk from Utrecht, each of whom value €6m (£5 million/$7 million) every.


Lokomotiv additionally paid Moscow rivals CSKA hefty sums for unproven midfielders Konstantin Maradishvili and Nair Tiknizyan, as pundits commented that Rangnick’s technique within the switch market was each needlessly costly and dangerous.

It was not simply with the enjoying workers the place Rangnick made unpopular choices, both.

Marko Nikolic was a well-liked coach with Lokomotiv followers, and customarily thought-about a really laborious working and sincere supervisor. His future, although, was unsure from the second Rangnick arrived, as his defensive type and lack of excessive urgent was not appropriate for the brand new ideas that have been being launched.

It was hardly shocking, due to this fact, that the Serbian left by mutual consent in early October. He was changed by Markus Gisdol, who is essentially seen by the Russian media as being Rangnick’s puppet.

Former Lokomotiv president Nikolay Naumov criticised the appointment, saying: “He is just not a coach, however relatively a secretary. Rangnick does not want somebody like [Jose] Mourinho or [Roberto] Mancini, however relatively a person who will comply with his directions.

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“They got here to the membership with only one purpose — to show Lokomotiv right into a enterprise of shopping for and promoting gamers. Results aren’t vital for them, and so they want an nameless coach who was prepared to take a great wage and do what they are saying.”

Now, with Rangnick’s departure to United confirmed, it was extensively assumed that the entire system he introduced in would crumble, leaving Lokomotiv in ruins.

Such a view, although, looks like it will likely be confirmed incorrect, for no extra purpose than Rangnick’s position and his total mission in Moscow has been completely misunderstood.

For starters, even supposing he might be within the Old Trafford dugout on Sunday when Crystal Palace tackle United, Rangnick has not “left” Lokomotiv — just because he by no means had an official job inside the membership within the first place.

Described upon his appointment because the membership’s supervisor of sports activities and growth, he was not really on the Lokomotiv payroll, and his identify by no means appeared on the official membership web site. Instead, a contract was signed together with his company, Rangnick Kornetka Consulting, which mainly made him a contract advisor.

“The contract continues to be intact, and the mission is meant to go on,” Ivan Zhidkov, chief editor of the Sport Den Za Dnem newspaper, tells Goal. “Lars Kornetka, Rangnick’s right-hand man, will proceed to work with Lokomotiv each day, and Rangnick himself is meant to have the final phrase on crucial points.

MORE: What Rangnick could have discovered about Man Utd in Chelsea draw

“Rangnick took his work at Lokomotiv extraordinarily critically. He introduced a complete staff of scouting specialists, who now work for a membership that did not have a correct scouting division at all earlier than his arrival.

“There are new requirements so far as medical workers and dietitians are involved. The plan is to make the membership way more skilled and fashionable.”

Rangnick’s appointment was all the time finished with a long-term view, and the switch market technique, for instance, is just not – as Naumov claimed – to be a promoting membership, however relatively to make the membership extra environment friendly whereas excelling on the pitch.

“According to Rangnick’s philosophy, solely formidable younger gamers needs to be signed, and so they should not be over the age of 25,” Zhidkov explains. “Investments needs to be made in those that need to develop, relatively than in veterans whose motivation might be unsuitable for the mission.”

Rangnick made vital efforts to elucidate the mission throughout his time in Russia. He held a particular press convention within the weeks earlier than the information broke of United’s curiosity in him, however as an alternative of discussing the technique and the long run, journalists saved asking the German about Nikolic and Krychowiak, specializing in the previous.

He additionally invited leaders of fan actions for a pleasant chat at a restaurant in October, nevertheless it stays unclear whether or not they have been satisfied by his strategies.

“It is essential to grasp that it’s a long run mission, led by high specialists. It can be ridiculous to guage it based mostly on instant outcomes, however folks do not need to perceive that,” Zhidkov continues. “Most of the journalism in Russia is pushed by pure emotion. Most of the evaluation could be very shallow.

“It is already attainable to see that Beka Beka, for instance, is making vital progress, and at the age of 20 he’s a really promising footballer. These issues take time.”

Rangnick is, due to this fact, utterly misunderstood in Russia, although it should be stated that the very imprecise description of his position has not helped his trigger.

His work at Lokomotiv has solely simply began, and it was not supposed to finish after simply 4 months when Manchester United got here calling. As such, success or failure shouldn’t be measured fairly so quickly.

Russian followers and journalists are solely able to wanting at instant impressions, although, and former Lokomotiv normal director Ilya Gerkus claimed that, “there are three matches left in 2021. If the Germans obtain good outcomes, they’ll proceed. If they do not, they will not.”

Rangnick is nearly sure to face the identical downside in England, too. Despite solely being the interim supervisor at United, he’ll inevitably be judged by what occurs on the sector, even when the true function for his appointment doesn’t start till the summer season.

That stated, his position as a marketing consultant in the course of the subsequent two seasons is extraordinarily imprecise — much more so than at Lokomotiv – and thus followers and journalists alike are extraordinarily unlikely to be affected person with him and belief his course of if outcomes beneath the coach he helps to nominate don’t enhance.

And so whereas Rangnick is unquestionably not responsible of being “the largest fraud in Russian soccer historical past,” and neither is he a criminal, there are classes in what he has finished at Lokomotiv that Manchester United followers would do effectively to study from within the coming weeks, months and years.

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