After having his grand arrival postponed by a work permit issue, Ralf Rangnick is being made to wait before finally taking formal charge of Manchester United as the club's new interim head coach.
Rangnick has been brought in until the end of the season in as a temporary replacement for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, who parted company with United last month.
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United have already confirmed that interim interim manager Michael Carrick will be at the helm for Thursday's Premier League clash against Arsenal as the club wait for Rangnick's paperwork to clear, though the German coach could be in situ before Crystal Palace visit Old Trafford this Sunday.
Having held an upstairs role at Lokomotiv Moscow, where he had been manager of sports and development since July, Rangnick's return to day-to-day club management at United may also signal a return for the infamous disciplinary aid which came to light during his days as coach at RB Leipzig.
We are of course talking about the spinning wheel which Rangnick introduced as a means of keeping his players in check via a range of unusual forfeits.
The notorious contraption featured 12 bespoke punishments devised by Rangnick that could be administered to players guilty of misdemeanours such as turning up late or getting caught using their phones during training.
"Fines rarely do anything," Rangnick told Bild at the time. "It hurts the players more, for example, if they have less free time -- like three hours of work in the fan shop."
There's no way of knowing whether or not Rangnick intends to deploy the wheel at Carrington, though the lingering threat might just be enough to scare United's global superstars into falling in line.
Here are the 12 punishments included on the wheel (and which United player would be best suited for each):
RB Leipzig head coach Ralf Rangnick uses a spinning wheel to determine player punishments, which include:— Tony Mabert (@TonyMabertESPN) September 13, 2018
-Work in club shop
-Serve food in team cafeteria
-Guide stadium tours
-Mow grass on training pitches
-Buy gifts for club staff
-Train in a tutu
(Image via @BILD)
1. Ball assistant: Pump up the balls, get them on the pitch, clean them (30 minutes per unit)
This is probably the role that Donny van de Beek was assigned during United training sessions during his time at the club under Solskjaer, judging by how little the Netherlands international played under his former manager.
2. Assistant academy coach: Train one of the academy teams on an otherwise free day (4 hours)
Let's face it, the last thing United need right now is another interim interim interim manager.
3. Stadium tour guide: Show locker room, etc., to visitors (1 hour)
Having been at the club since he was 7 years old, surely nobody knows their way around Old Trafford better than Jesse Lingard?
4. Get lucky: No punishment
Out injured since January 2020, it's about time Phil Jones enjoyed a little bit of good fortune.
5. Greenkeeper: Mow and take care of the training pitch (4-6 hours within a week of training)
Call it a wild hunch, but Harry Maguire definitely looks like he knows his way around a lawnmower.
6. Princess: Wear a pink jersey or tutu for training (90 minutes)
Maybe Ralf would like to rethink this one if he does decide to bring the wheel back at his new job.
7. Barman: Mix drinks ahead of training, fill bottles with water (20 minutes every day for a week of training)
United could put Edinson Cavani in charge of the liquid refreshments and soon the entire squad would be quaffing gallons of yerba mate tea on a daily basis.
8. Fan shop: Work in the club shop (3 hours)
Unflinchingly polite and erudite, Juan Mata would be perfectly suited for a customer-facing role. Just imagine his friendly smile greeting you as you walked through the door.
9. Kitchen service: Serve salads in the team cafeteria, clean the tables (30 minutes)
United once reportedly hired a private chef to teach Luke Shaw how to cook, so surely the left-back has picked up a few pointers on preparing truly world-class salads.
10. Kit man: Take care of dirty jerseys, help with cleaning boots (30 minutes)
Paul Pogba's fashion game = 💪— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) January 23, 2019
He had his nickname "La Pioche" stitched in the fabric of his custom suit. pic.twitter.com/pyfwhtKoIC
It's only right that the member of United's first-team squad with the most swag take over kit duties, and that person is of course one Paul Pogba.
11. Team bus: Pack the bus with crates and bags on day of away matches (1 1/2 hours)
He's a grizzled veteran, 6-foot-4 and built like a tank, so Nemanja Matic would likely make light work of heaving a few metric tonnes of luggage aboard a bus.
12. Gifts for employees: Purchase small gifts for all of Leipzig's 60 members of staff
As the squad member with the most disposable income, it's only fair that Cristiano Ronaldo steps up to buy presents for everybody at United.
He's got form in the art of gifting too, having purchased a new laptop for each of his Juventus teammates in 2018 in an apology for getting sent off against Valencia in the Champions League.