Interim Manchester United manager Ralf Rangnick has been spotted in the Caribbean watching England’s cricket team, but fans have suggested he has other priorities
Manchester United fans have been speculating about Ralf Rangnick’s reasons for taking a trip to Barbados after the interim manager was spotted at a cricket match on the Caribbean island.
Rangnick was a special guest at the test match between the West Indies and England, joining Windies legend Gordon Greenidge at the Kensington Oval. However, a number of United supporters seemed to believe the cricket wasn’t the only reason he had left the country.
United have been given an extended break due to the postponement of their Premier League match against Liverpool. The Reds’ FA Cup progress means the game has been pushed back, and Rangnick’s team won’t return to action until after the international break, but some have suggested there is another motivation behind the German’s choice of destination.
Rangnick is expected to play a prominent role in identifying Manchester United’s next permanent manager, with a decision due when his own interim tenure ends at the conclusion of the season. Erik ten Hag is believed to be the club’s first choice, though Mauricio Pochettino – whose Paris Saint-Germain side were beaten by Monaco on Sunday – has been in the mix amid uncertainty over his own future.
However, some fans wondered if the former RB Leipzig boss might be taking a back seat and is instead doing some groundwork for a Manchester United cricket team. Owners, the Glazer family, had bid (unsuccessfully) to take over an IPL franchise in 2021, though the Manchester Evening News has suggested a United branded team is not a consideration right now despite co-chairman Avram Glazer holding discussions over the sport in the UAE.
“I met with Avram Glazer, Co-Chairman of Manchester United, today and discussed ways to work together to further raise Dubai’s profile as a global sporting hub,” Sheikh Mansoor Bin Mohammed, Chairman of Dubai Sport, tweeted during the week. “We also discussed the UAE T20 Cricket league’s launch in Jan 2023 featuring Manchester United cricket team & other teams.”
Why do you think Rangnick was in Barbados? Have your say in the comments section
“No way Rangnick’s gone to watch cricket. Man Utd Cricket team’s coach in the making?” one fan asked. “Ralf gonna coach Manchester United cricket team? Gegenpress in the slips….” joked another.
Others sympathised with the interim boss after United’s recent struggles, with one suggesting “Man United made Ralf turn to cricket”. “Do you know how bad your team has to be for you to go watch West Indies play cricket” was the verdict from another
Meanwhile, one Barbados-based United fan drew closer parallels between the Red Devils and the West Indies team. “Did not know that Ralf Rangnick was in Barbados watching cricket. “It’s like he went from managing one headache to watching another.”
United will return to action on April 2, hosting Leicester City in the Premier League. A fourth-place finish is now their only chance of Champions League football next term after Atletico Madrid eliminated them from this season’s competition.
Rangnick showed his frustration with the refereeing display in the second leg against Atletico as his team fell to a 2-1 aggregate defeat. “That was a foul for sure on Anthony Elanga but the referee and the linesman didn’t see it that way,” he said.
“For me that was the only real moment, and the offside goal, that they scored with. Apart from that, we defended well and we were compact in their transition moments. There is nothing I can blame the team for in the first half.”