The gentlemen in the conference room of a Vienna hotel on a Friday afternoon seemed somewhat surprised by themselves. The name of the new Austrian football association chief was so quickly, out of so much tension, that it was introduced as ‘Ralphramnik’ at this festive moment, Austrian Football Association president Gerhard Milic said. And sporting director Peter Schoettle, clearly impressed by the importance of the press conference, could not stress enough that a few weeks ago, maybe a few days ago, it was “impossible” to even imagine that Ralf Rangnick would be able to play. Since June, he has held the most important coaching position in Austrian football.
Austria has changed since then Delivery man We’ve previously reported on Rangnick’s decision for Austria, a bit cheek-y about the commitment of such an important coach. Few thought it was possible that someone who had just played 1-1 against Chelsea at Old Trafford on Thursday night with a goal scored by Cristiano Ronaldo would soon answer questions on the ORF mic – apparently not even those who signed Rangnick.
In any case, Schoettle reported that he had been holding him in the back of his mind from the start, but did not call him first, but dealt with the usual suspects: Peter Stoger, Vladimir Petkovic, and of course Andreas Herzog was also in the administration. But then Schoettle got his phone number from Christoph Freund, sporting director at RB Salzburg, and is thus well acquainted with Rangnick. Although he wasn’t convinced Rangnick might be interested in the Austria mission, Schoettle now said: “I was really wrong about that.”
In Austria, Rangnick starts a project that is not at all different from that of Manchester United
Because Rangnick definitely wants to be a national coach for at least two years. If Austria qualifies for EM 2024, the contract will be automatically extended. The championship in Germany is one of the factors that makes the project attractive to Rangnick. Schoettle said he was not convinced of “the money” but “the air”. It is also important that the Austrian Football Association allow Rangnick to stay with Manchester United as a part-time job from June. Together with new coach Erik Ten Hag, he theoretically wants to push United’s rebuilding as their sporting advisor. Until May 22, he will remain interim coach of the England national team, and only then will he deal with the depths (shoulder) of Austrian football. It was all an “innovative solution,” she said.
In Austria, Rangnick started a project not at all different from that in Manchester: a high-quality solo band is available, but the whole thing does not always work as a group; In the background, everyone thinks they know everything better – and there is no long-term org chart. Rangnick must offer it now – with the talented Austrians, many of whom he knows from his time at Red Bull. Since 2012, he has established the RB Model of Modern Success in Salzburg. That’s why Rangnick still has a very good reputation in Austria, especially in professional circles.
However, his first assignment ahead of the Nations League matches in June against Croatia, Denmark and France will have to be anticipation management. On Friday, when the person being introduced was not present, there was talk of a “spirit of optimism”. Recent research into Austrian football has been in vain.
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