Why do people have a problem with Rangnick’s “DNA” comments?
One of the first things Ralf Rangnick said in his first interview with the club was the need to honor the United’s DNA. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has always made a point of discussing the club’s DNA and how essential it is. Some of it even worked in his recruitment process.
What is certain is that it has always been an amorphous concept when it comes to Manchester United. Rangnick, on the other hand, did his best to summarize it when he said,
“You need to have a certain idea – what do we want to stand for, call it a corporate identity. How do we want to be seen? How do we want to play? How do our fans want us to play?”
There isn’t one answer for it, and I’ve come to understand that people love absolutes when it comes to football. Looking for a definitive answer to the term will always remain a strange concept, but this should not be a problem in the slightest.
For whatever reason, many people seem believe it doesn’t exist, while others think it should be something it has never been, and still, others say it should only be one of the things that it is. Then there are people who already concluded that it’s useless.
Rangnick’s existence proves that there is such a thing as club DNA, however obscure it may be. He was instrumental in establishing the Red Bull brand’s particular identity. What should be a point of contention is what DNA actually is and how it works. The interim United manager even went so far as to suggest how United should improve on their current DNA.
“The important thing is to celebrate the DNA this club still has, but to also implement it into the transformation to modern football,” he said.
With such a long history, a club like United has attracted certain ideals along the way, principles that have gained the respect of the football World, and that the club has chosen to build on. It’s nearly impossible to have United’s history without some sort of identity or ideas associated with it. Bayern Munich, Ajax, and Barcelona are excellent examples.
Sir Alex Ferguson used Sir Matt Busby’s philosophy of constantly featuring young players and expanded on it. This strategy has worked for United for a long time, and both managers have had immense success with it. The fact that an academy graduate has been a part of every match-day squad since 1937 should be lauded, and I’d say that it’s one of the most critical elements of the DNA.
Some people have expressed displeasure with Rangnick’s decision to maintain Solskjaer’s history of discussing DNA in press conferences. However, this isn’t the first time the German has brought it up. He built his entire reputation around that idea, and it appears that most people had no idea about it. I’d argue that it’s one of the main reasons United chose him over Antonio Conte.
But I believe people’s primary issue is that Solskjaer talked about it a lot. When someone with a considerable reputation has followed suit and effectively articulated why the former United manager was so intent on rebuilding the club around the DNA, some people can’t seem to accept that Solskjaer knew what he was talking about.
Fair enough, if people believe it should be something different than it has been. However, this will not magically erase the previous century of United’s history. Suppose you feel the DNA is just about winning trophies by any means necessary. In that case, you could also use that logic to argue that it is the DNA of every club on the planet. It isn’t as unique. No club in the world of football enters a competition without the intention of winning it one day. It might not be feasible right now, but it will always remain the ultimate dream.
Nottingham Forest has more European trophies than Manchester City. I don’t think forest fans are incapable of fantasizing about returning to the summit of European football one day, no matter how long it takes.
United built a club where winning trophies is simply a byproduct of implementing its DNA. The majority of clubs worldwide would merely not be able to apply the same principles and expect the same success. United is one of the most unique clubs in history because of this. Its success over the start of the last century was because of a significant portion of its DNA.
You keep hearing different managers speak about club DNA, and you’ve never once thought, “Wait a minute, this could be crucial. I’d like to learn more about it.”
It may not be what you want, but that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, and ridiculing managers who continue to talk about it won’t change that.