If you happen to 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 harm the German tactician did to the membership, just for him to then out of the blue depart in order to take the interim supervisor’s job at Manchester United.
As described by Sergey Kolesnikov of Sportbox.ru, 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 recognized for representing Yaya Toure, in contrast Rangnick to Ostap Bender, essentially the most well-known fictional criminal in Russian literature.
Numerous jokes and memes have been unfold far and large, 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.
However following a significant summer season overhaul, they’re now 11 factors behind leaders Zenit after simply 16 matches, having received simply two of their final 9 fixtures. On Monday, they have been soundly thrashed 3-1 by lowly Arsenal Tula.
Rangnick’s first unpopular determination after his appointment in July was promoting midfield stalwart Grzegorz Krychowiak in opposition to 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 robust season, with 4 targets to his title to this point.
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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 price €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 taking part in workers the place Rangnick made unpopular selections, both.
Marko Nikolic was a preferred coach with Lokomotiv followers, and usually thought of a really arduous working and sincere supervisor. His future, although, was unsure from the second Rangnick arrived, as his defensive fashion and lack of excessive urgent was not appropriate for the brand new ideas that have been being launched.
It was hardly shocking, subsequently, 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 isn’t a coach, however moderately a secretary. Rangnick would not want somebody like [Jose] Mourinho or [Roberto] Mancini, however moderately a person who will observe 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. Outcomes aren’t essential for them, and so they want an nameless coach who was keen to take a very good wage and do what they are saying.”
Now, with Rangnick’s departure to United confirmed, it was broadly assumed that the entire system he introduced in would crumble, leaving Lokomotiv in ruins.
Such a view, although, looks as if it is going to be confirmed incorrect, for no extra purpose than Rangnick’s function and his complete challenge in Moscow has been completely misunderstood.
For starters, even though he might be within the Previous Trafford dugout on Sunday when Crystal Palace tackle United, Rangnick has not “left” Lokomotiv — just because he by no means had an official job throughout the membership within the first place.
Described upon his appointment because the membership’s supervisor of sports activities and improvement, he was not truly on the Lokomotiv payroll, and his title by no means appeared on the official membership web site. As a substitute, a contract was signed along with his company, Rangnick Kornetka Consulting, which principally made him a contract advisor.
“The contract continues to be intact, and the challenge is meant to go on,” Ivan Zhidkov, chief editor of the Sport Den Za Dnem newspaper, tells Aim. “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 an important points.
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“Rangnick took his work at Lokomotiv extraordinarily severely. He introduced a complete staff of scouting specialists, who now work for a membership that did not have a correct scouting division in any respect earlier than his arrival.
“There are new requirements so far as medical workers and dietitians are involved. The plan is to make the membership rather more skilled and fashionable.”
Rangnick’s appointment was at all times carried out with a long-term view, and the switch market technique, for instance, isn’t – as Naumov claimed – to be a promoting membership, however moderately to make the membership extra environment friendly whereas excelling on the pitch.
“In keeping with Rangnick’s philosophy, solely bold 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 wish to develop, moderately than in veterans whose motivation could possibly be unsuitable for the challenge.”
Rangnick made important efforts to clarify the challenge 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 a substitute of discussing the technique and the longer term, 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, however it stays unclear whether or not they have been satisfied by his strategies.
“It is extremely essential to grasp that it’s a long run challenge, led by high specialists. It will be ridiculous to evaluate it primarily based on rapid outcomes, however individuals do not wish to perceive that,” Zhidkov continues. “A lot of the journalism in Russia is pushed by pure emotion. A lot of the evaluation could be very shallow.
“It’s already potential to see that Beka Beka, for instance, is making important progress, and on the age of 20 he’s a really promising footballer. This stuff take time.”
Rangnick is, subsequently, utterly misunderstood in Russia, although it have to be stated that the very imprecise description of his function 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 taking a look at rapid impressions, although, and former Lokomotiv basic 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 drawback in England, too. Regardless of solely being the interim supervisor at United, he’ll inevitably be judged by what occurs on the sphere, even when the true function for his appointment doesn’t start till the summer season.
That stated, his function as a guide through 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 below 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 carried out at Lokomotiv that Manchester United followers would do nicely to study from within the coming weeks, months and years.