Football writer Charles Watts has claimed that Arsenal are set for a big ‘boost’ as new Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick will not be in the dugout when the two teams meet this week.
Mikel Arteta’s side pay a visit to Old Trafford on Thursday night in the Premier League, looking to follow up their latest win at the weekend.
When Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was sacked earlier this month, the United board opted to bring in 63-year-old Rangnick to fill the head coach role until the end of the season.
The first game after his official announcement will be between the Gunners and the Red Devils, but for a number of reasons, it has emerged that Rangnick will not be with the coaching staff in Manchester at that stage.
While speaking on his YouTube channel, Watts explained that paperwork issues and pandemic guidelines will delay the former RB Leipzig man’s arrival.
Watts said: “It doesn’t look like Ralf Rangnick is going to be in charge for Manchester United. Obviously, he was confirmed as the interim manager yesterday by United, but they are still working through the necessary paperwork for him to actually be physically there in charge.
“Again, it doesn’t look like they’re going to get that done in time. They’ve got work permit issues, they’ve got the sort of [pandemic] restriction issues as well at the moment, and it doesn’t look like he’s going to be in charge.
“It looks like Michael Carrick will once again be the man leading Manchester United on Thursday night.
“So Arsenal don’t really have that sort of new manager bounce thing to deal with like it looked like they were probably going to, with Ralf Rangnick actually sort of physically being there and leading the team and sort of stirring the crowd up a little bit.
“So that’s a bit of a boost for Arsenal.”
TIF Thoughts on Arsenal and Manchester United…
Arsenal may well be boosted by this news if it does come to pass that Rangnick won’t be at the game. They should also come into the match with a fair bit of confidence as they recently beat Newcastle United 2-0 – meaning they have lost just once in their last 10 Premier League matches.
Should Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang be dropped?
United may also be feeling a little better about life after picking up a good away point against Chelsea thanks to a Jadon Sancho goal at the weekend.
Even so, the Gunners remain five points and three places ahead of the Red Devils and will hope to extend that gap with a win later on this week – but whether the expected absence of Rangnick plays a part remains to be seen.