Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola has shared his thoughts on Manchester United’s interim boss Ralf Rangnick and he has labelled him ‘the father of gegenpressing’.
Rangnick, who have never faced Guardiola before in his managerial career, replaced Ole Gunnar Solskjaer in November, three weeks after the Red Devils lost 2-0 at home to the Citizens in the Premier League.
The German coach has since steadied the ship at Old Trafford in the Premier League, winning seven, drawing five and losing only one of his 13 league games, and United currently sit fourth in the table, two points clear of West Ham United in fifth.
Speaking to the press ahead of Sunday’s Manchester derby, Guardiola believes Man United have joined a popular Premier League trend under Rangnick with regards to their tactical approach and he has hailed the “exceptional” work the 63-year-old has carried out in his native Germany.
“I would say the idea from Rangnick is the tendency already in the Premier League. Many teams want to play in that way. Rangnick is a father of gegenpressing, transitions, play inside,” Guardiola told reporters on Friday.
“We see that with Liverpool, Southampton, and now Jesse Marsch with Leeds, a little bit with Chelsea with [Thomas] Tuchel but they play wider with full-backs. It is a tendency. Most top clubs in England – five or six teams are playing in this way – and important ones like Liverpool, United, Chelsea, Southampton are doing incredibly well and Leeds now.
“The work he has done in Germany is exceptional, creating a proper school at Red Bull [Leipzig]. The teams in Austria, New York, all the teams play the same philosophy. He came here to try to install it and you see some parts of what he wants to do.”
Guardiola is preparing for a difficult challenge against City’s noisy neighbours, who have won each in each of their three visits to the Etihad Stadium, a record the Spaniard will be keen to rectify this weekend.