CM: The eight-second rule and the ‘war on tiki-taka’ – Rangnick’s precise methods

By Oliver Fisher -

Ralf Rangnick is dominating the headlines related to AC Milan at the moment despite currently being an employee of Red Bull.

There are strong rumours that the German will be entrusted with the responsibility of leading a new revolution at Milan once the current season is over.

There are those who are sceptical of his possible arrival – including seemingly technical director Paolo Maldini – but one thing that cannot be debated are his meticulous methods and his philosophy of playing football.

As Calciomercato.com notes, ‘Der Professor’ – as he is known in Germany – is the man Milan wants at all costs due to his ability to build a young team and get them playing his brand of intense, fast-paced football.

A war on tiki-taka

Rangnick’s style can be summer up in two words: ‘Ballorientierte Raumdeckung’, or ball-oriented field coverage. In simpler words, the ball must played as quickly and vertically as possible, and winning the ball back through systematic aggression once possession is lost is absolutely key.

It is described by CM as a ‘war on the Spanish tiki-taka’ as the former Schalke and Hoffenheim boss does not like prolonged possession and encourages his sides to play through the lines and get a shot away as quickly as possible, also encouraging risks to try and win the ball back.

Rangnick has always been a great admirer of the legendary Milan boss Arrigo Sacchi, and his methods are inspiring by the Italian. In training Rangnick uses two stopwatches, one with a countdown set at 8 seconds (the maximum time to win the ball back) and one at 10 seconds, the time for using possession.

Man management

In terms of man management, Rangnick requires that players buy into his ideas. Acts of indiscipline – such as the use of mobile phones in certain moments and places – are not well received, and player are asked to learn the language of the host country in the shortest time possible.

The 61-year-old is described in the editorial as hard but fair and equally empathetic towards his players, understanding the need to build a relationship based on trust. The players must that the strict instructions placed on them are necessary for the good of the team.

Then the rest will be decided, such as the choice of formation (4-4-2 always preferred), the most suitable players to deploy and the type of squad to try and build.

Tags AC Milan Ralf Rangnick