Ralf Rangnick will have a lot of work to do as Manchester United's interim manager, but the team's two open-play goals against Arsenal were right up his street.
The former Red Bull Salzburg and RB Leipzig manager was in the stands for the Red Devils' impressive 3-2 win over Arsenal at Old Trafford on Thursday.
His first game at the helm will be the Premier League tie with Crystal Palace on Sunday. Michael Carrick won't form part of his coaching staff after he stepped down from the club following the defeat of Arsenal.
It is no secret that Rangnick revolutionised German football with the success he had at teams such as Ulm 1846, Schalke, Hoffenheim and Leipzig.
"We've had a countdown clock custom made for us," Rangnick once said during his time at Hoffenheim.
"The assistant coach activates it and it starts ticking. We use it for a game called the eight-second rule. The players can hear that ticking and they know they have to get the ball back within eight seconds or, if they have possession, they need to take a shot within ten seconds.
"It can be irritating for them at first but what we noticed is this type of training can affect players. Within weeks, they adjust their style of play and it becomes an instinct."
That sense of urgency in both regaining possession and in countering purposefully was present as United earned one of their best wins of the season.
"Biggest chance to score is within 8 seconds of recovering possession" - Ralf Rangnick- ًtortiya (@utd_tortiya) December 2, 2021
It was by no means a complete performance that got them over the line against Arsenal, but it was enough to secure a memorable win in Carrick's final match in charge.
Bruno Fernandes and Cristiano Ronaldo scored from open play for the first and second of United's three goals.
And both came within ten seconds of Carrick's side nicking the ball from Arsenal. Rangnick will have been suitably impressed.
United must still offer more.
And if they are to play a Rangnick style of football wholeheartedly, then players like Ronaldo and Marcus Rashford will have to work harder defensively and in the press - whether they are used to doing so or not.
Rangnick will come in with huge demands and high expectations.
But the Red Devils have a phenomenal squad of players who should be more than good enough to finally develop a definitive and recognisable style of football.
Words by Dom Smith
Featured Image Credit: Amazon Prime Video SportMore like this
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