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When is Ralf Rangnick's first game as Man Utd manager?

9:28 PM MYT 05/12/2021
Ralf Rangnick
Red Devils fans will have to wait to see their new custodian strut his stuff on the sidelines, but when will he be there?

Manchester United fans are anticipating a new era of Gegenpressing at Old Trafford as the tenure of new boss Ralf Rangnick gets set to begin in earnest.

The German coach is highly regarded by compatriots Jurgen Klopp and Thomas Tuchel among others, though his appointment probably caught a few Red Devils fans off guard.

As the excitement builds around the idea of a whole new way of playing being implemented, GOAL takes a look at when Rangnick's first game in the hotseat will be.

When is Ralf Rangnick's first game as Man Utd manager?

Rangnick will officially be in the dugout as Manchester United manager for the first time when the Red Devils host Crystal Palace at Old Trafford on Sunday December 5. That game kicks off at 2pm GMT (9am ET).

Administrative delays prevented an immediate appearance and he will not be directing proceedings in the December 2 game against Arsenal as a result. However, the club confirmed on December 2 that the administrative process had been completed.

Rangnick's first official press conference as Manchester United manager will take place on Friday December 3 at 9am GMT and it will be streamed live on MUTV.

Presuming Rangnick's first game is against Palace, he will then take charge of his first Champions League game as manager - and second game overall - in the encounter with Young Boys on Wednesday December 8, a fixture which will also be played at Old Trafford.

While Rangnick was officially confirmed as the new Red Devils boss on November 29, 2021, the club confirmed that Michael Carrick would remain in charge until the former RB Leipzig boss was officially cleared to take his place on the sideline.

Carrick took the reins on a temporary basis following the departure of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and the club indicated that the former midfielder would continue in the role for the Premier League clash against Arsenal. Nevertheless, there have been suggestions that the new interim manager will be a spectator at the game.

"I haven't really got anything to update you on," Carrick told reporters when asked about the possibility of Rangnick being at the Arsenal game. "I'm in the position I was for Villarreal and Chelsea, getting the boys ready for the game tomorrow night."

Why has Ralf Rangnick been delayed from taking over?

Despite his appointment at the end of November, Rangnick was delayed from taking over immediately as Manchester United manager because of work permit visa requirements arising post Brexit.

As a non-UK citizen wishing to work in the UK, the German coach must meet a number of criteria in order to be allowed to take up employment as United boss. A key part of this process is obtaining a Governing Body Endorsement (GBE) from the Football Association.

A GBE involves a points-based system which takes into account an individual's qualifications and experience.

In the case of Rangnick, the situation was complicated by the fact that he has not managed a 'Top Club' for a 'Prescribed Time' in the last five years - the 'Prescribed Time' being either a cumulative total of at least 36 months or a consecutive total of 24 months (two years).

Rangnick's most recent managerial job in the last five years was between 2018 and 2019, when he managed RB Leipzig in the Bundesliga for 11 months. His executive roles as sporting director, which he held at Lokomotiv Moscow and Leipzig, do not count towards the process, so he and Manchester United must seek exception through an Exceptions Panel.

They must demonstrate to the panel that Rangnick is "of the highest calibre" and that he "is able to contribute significantly the development of the game at the top level in England". His previous positions and the leagues he has worked in will be taken into account by the panel.

Manchester United confirmed on Thursday December 2 that Rangnick's work permit had been approved.

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