The Delusions about Ralf Rangnick


Every time I try to have a conversation with a Ralf Rangnick supporter, it is like talking to the people in a mental ward. They are so certain, so deluded, and all of their arguments are built on misinformation or flat out falsehoods. It is actually shocking how unsubstantiated their claims are. Particularly considering that there is no agreement, no contract, and we don’t even know which job or the scope of his powers will be if any of these things do happen. They are quick to talk about Rangnick’s apparent admiration for Arrigo Sacchi. Yes, these are the same people who last year said Giampaolo would be the next Arrigo Sacchi. But new year, new delusion, I guess. So here are some truths about Rangnick.

We could produce tin foil hats with the club logo on them

Rangnick has a lot of turnover in jobs. Despite being associated with various Red Bull clubs and technical development, he only coached Leipzig twice, for one year at a time. In fact, for the 2015-16 season, while serving as sporting director, he marked his territory, announcing in February of that year that he (currently the sporting director) would be taking over the coaching position the following season, which caused the current coach to resign. They used an interim coach for the rest of the 2014-15 season.

Sound familiar? In May, despite a global pandemic in which the region AC Milan is located in being hit hard by COVID-19, Rangnick publicly announced contact with the club. Even though Milan weren’t playing, the season was nowhere near finished, and Boban had actually been fired for making the world aware of Gazidis going behind the back of the technical directors, Rangnick marked his territory again, like a wild animal. When Rangnick decides to take control, heads will roll. This sparked a public outburst, apparently sanctioned by the club, by Paolo Maldini to show some respect for those who were still working to finish the season. That includes all of the players and staff. But respecting his co-workers, peers, players, and more is not as important as him getting what he wants.

"See, up there is the scoreboard so you will know if we win"

Rangnick doesn’t win trophies. Milan fans keep saying they want to win again, bring back winning ways. There is only one person at the club right now that knows how to win trophies like that. (Hint: it’s Maldini.) Rangnick has done well in Germany to grow teams and earn promotion, then he leaves. Moves to a sporting director position, leaves altogether, but he doesn’t stick around long enough to follow through and earn the hardware. If the goal is to bring Milan back to winning ways, it makes no sense to hire a coach that doesn’t know what those are.

Rangnick has never scouted players for Serie A. Actually, he’s never coached in Serie A, either, which is widely regarded as a far more technical league than the Bundesliga. In fact, he’s never done anything in Serie A. The idea that his strict rules of young players, low wages, and more would translate to Italy are as preposterous as those who believed that Giampaolo was going to be the next Arrigo Sacchi. Some of us knew better. We saw how a coach who had only coached in Serie A crumbled with such a young team, why should a foreign manager/scout/sporting director/technical director/whatever be any different?


"I will have absolute powers. Ja voll!"

Rangnick doesn’t develop players. Rangnick has helped discover and sign players, but he doesn’t stick around to develop them, he lets other coaches do that. While he is credited with discovering some talented young players, their development can hardly be credited to him when he doesn’t stay at his manager position for more than a year or two at a time. This is a tremendous delusion, as he is given a lot of credit for things he actually hasn’t even done in Germany.

Rangnick won’t transform the sporting sector at Milan. It’s very simple: neither he nor Elliott will be there long enough. The transformation needed at Milan is consistency. While various other errors have been made, the one thing that is lacking most now in developing the young talent we already have is consistency. There are many players who have come through Milan that could have been as talented or more talented than many of Rangnick’s finds, but, as we talked about on the podcast last week, having four sporting directors in four years and nine managers in six years is more than likely what impacted their careers and development negatively. We know that Elliott will not be here long, and stats show that Rangnick won’t either.

Is Gazidis in need of a new sparring partner? I'll take him... I mean train with him.

Rangnick will not succeed if given all powers. He was recently quoted as saying “For me, it’s that I need to have a certain influence, which is not the same as power, although in some situations you need power to get things moving.” This need for control may be tied to the fact that he doesn’t stay at any one position, and has on a few times taken on multiple positions. Galliani demonstrated how dangerous it is to be given total control. The downward spiral that led us here, including the complete lack of youth development, was largely in part to him clearing everyone out beneath him and trying to do everything on his own. Spoiler alert: he failed. The trophies were won with a team of people, the club deteriorated with his autocratic ways. All power means no trophies. 

During Rangnick’s time as coach and sporting director, he got a taste of some success, but didn’t last more than a year in the multi-roles. If he doesn’t stay, he won’t succeed. If Maldini stays on as technical director, Rangnick has already pissed off his boss by disrespecting some of the players and others he will be working with, so he won’t be staying in that scenario, either. Does everyone really want Milan to become Arsenal Italia? Even Gazidis, the lying, backstabbing CEO, didn’t do well with Wenger in a similar role at Arsenal, so this rumored appointment, whatever it is, is not destined for success from any way that you look at it.

"Hmmm... maybe she's  right..."

This is an unnecessary Year Zero. Because we know that Elliott are temporary owners, they could bring in the best manager/sporting director/technical director ever, and it wouldn’t matter. Developing a winning club takes time. Time Rangnick has never taken anyway. With the plan to sell always on the table, it is ridiculous to take the one possibility for success in the technical area – consistency – and throw it away, creating a completely unnecessary Year Zero when change is already on the horizon. Who completely revamps a technical sector with plans to sell the club, a coach who wouldn’t stay anyway, at a club that is literally dying for some consistency?

Why not, just for laughs, see what a Technical Director could do with two consecutive years at his position? Like cutting the wagebill by €25m per transfer window, while bringing in fantastic and talented players like Theo Hernandez and Bennacer, for example? Even for those who still think that hiring Giampaolo was an unpardonable sin (yes, the same people who claimed Giampaolo was the next Arrigo Sacchi this same time last year,) or people who hate facts like numbers and data, keeping Maldini for his influence alone would be massive.

Like twins.

But why use facts to prognosticate the future when you can just make things up? Redbull hired a new Head of Global Soccer, so Milan fans reported Rangnick has been fired (he hasn’t, he’s still Head of Sport and Development for them.) Facts don't matter to Milan fans. I’ve seen people’s tin foil hat plans for Rangnick at every position at the club, budget requirements, lists of 5 and 7 different players he must have at Milan, his tactics, his probable starting 11’s, always including Timo Werner, who no longer fits Rangnick’s under-24 policy. You know, because. Who needs facts? Links to every player that ever played on a team Rangnick dreamed of working for, all German, of course. And all of this completely false. I’m told that Rangnick’s breaks were because he worked too hard and had health problems. That is certainly ideal for rebuilding. You know if he takes a break, he won’t be working, right?

He's already wearing red and black, it must be true

I’ve seen it all, but no one is able to rationally or reasonably justify why this move would take place for any sane reason. Well, except to compare him again to Arrigo Sacchi, of course. But you all did that last year with Giampaolo. It wouldn’t be the first time that this uninformed, fact-deprived, hysterical fan group would be putting all of their money on someone that is completely unrealistic and unproven at Milan. How did Giampaolo work out for you, anyway?

That’s what I thought. Just more delusions, this time about Ralf Rangnick.


This post inspired by the music of Suicidal Tendencies’ “Institutionalized”

The Delusions about Ralf Rangnick The Delusions about Ralf Rangnick Reviewed by Elaine on 12:57 AM Rating: 5
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