Ralf Rangnick warned Erik ten Hag about Man Utd players and culture

  • Former interim boss Rangnick warned Ten Hag of the need for change when he first agreed to join
  • Ten Hag has denied reports he has lost support of Man Utd dressing room
  • Questions have been asked about the personalities in Red Devils squad

Rangnick sent a warning to Ten Hag
Rangnick sent a warning to Ten Hag / Sebastian Frej/MB Media/GettyImages

Former Manchester United interim boss Ralf Rangnick sent a warning to Erik ten Hag about the need to change the attitude in the Old Trafford dressing room when he first agreed to join the club.

Rangnick took temporary control of the team for the second half of the 2021/22 season and was involved in the decision to hire Ten Hag. The German had been expected to remain with United on a consultancy basis but ultimately ended his agreement with the club once Ten Hag arrived.

In April 2022, after Ten Hag had agreed to join United, the outspoken Rangnick sent a clear warning to both the new boss and everyone involved with the club about the need for serious change among the playing staff.

"He will hopefully have the chance to mould a new team together with the scouting department and together with the board, which is necessary," Rangnick said. "And for me, the most vital part is the club manages to get in the right and best possible players, change the attitude and also the energy - I think we need positive energy for the new team. And this is also important for the new manager.

"It's not just the manager's quality. It's about changing all the other things that have brought the club into position as we are in right now."

Erik ten Hag
Ten Hag is under immense pressure / James Gill - Danehouse/GettyImages

Rangnick went on to throw his support behind Ten Hag with a blunt warning that United would need "open heart surgery" to get back to their best.

"Erik is a good choice - a very good choice," Rangnick stressed. "He has shown that in the past. I'm pretty convinced that he's the best possible coach that you can get right now. As I said earlier on, one of the very few good things is that it's crystal clear - you don't even need glasses to analyse and to see where the problems are here.

"It's not enough to do little minor amendments and little issues here and there some minor cosmetic things. No, in medicine, you would see this as an operation at the open heart. So there are more things to be changed than some little things here and some minor things there. If this happens and if everybody has realised that this has to happen, and if people want to work together, then it makes sense.

"This is not something that only one single person as a manager can do. I mean, with all respect to [Jurgen] Klopp and Pep [Guardiola], I'm sure that they didn't do all the things themselves. There were also other people involved in those two clubs, top people in certain positions, no matter in which area it was, in order to rebuild. To build how we want here you have to have top people and they have to work together in a very close and in a very reliable way."

Ten Hag is facing accusations that a large number of players in the United dressing room have grown disenchanted with his methods, with the Dutchman becoming the latest in a long line of managers to find themselves in similar headlines since Sir Alex Ferguson's departure.

As a result, several media outlets were banned from United's press conference ahead of the Premier League clash with Chelsea, claiming the action taken was "not for publishing stories we don't like, but for doing so without contacting us first to give us the opportunity to comment, challenge or contextualise."