HomeEuro 2024EURO 2024 Preview: Ralf Rangnick's Shot at Redemption with Austria

EURO 2024 Preview: Ralf Rangnick’s Shot at Redemption with Austria

Austria at Euro 2024: A Tactical Resurgence Under Rangnick

Ralf Rangnick’s Transformative Leadership

Since taking the reins of the Austrian national team, Ralf Rangnick has orchestrated a remarkable upturn in their fortunes. With an illustrious career spanning four decades, his brief tenure at Manchester United might have been underwhelming, but his foray into international management has revitalised Austria’s footballing prospects. As Euro 2024 approaches, Rangnick’s side has not only become the embodiment of resilience but also potential giant-killers, ready to take on the might of France, the Netherlands, and Poland in a formidable Group D.


From Defensive to Daring: Austria’s Tactical Evolution

Under the previous management of Franco Foda, Austria’s gameplay was characterized by a conservative, counter-attacking approach that ultimately led to their failure to qualify for the 2022 World Cup. However, Rangnick’s appointment marked a dramatic shift in philosophy. Austria has transitioned to a high-energy, pressing style of play that aligns perfectly with Rangnick’s strategic ideals.

This tactical shift has been received positively by supporters, as evidenced by the growing crowds at their matches—a stark contrast to the disengagement experienced under Foda. Notable performances include impressive victories over Croatia, Italy, and Germany, showcasing their ability to compete against top-tier teams.

Key Figures and Emerging Talent

While the squad features several well-known Bundesliga players like Marcel Sabitzer, Konrad Laimer, and Christoph Baumgartner, it’s Patrick Wimmer who might be the surprise package of Euro 2024. Known for his flair and pace, Wimmer’s ability to create moments of magic could prove crucial for Austria. His performances for Wolfsburg have highlighted his potential to shine on the larger stage, bringing both creativity and unpredictability to Austria’s attack.


Veteran player Marko Arnautovic continues to contribute significantly, leveraging his experience in Italy’s Serie A to guide the younger players. Michael Gregoritsch provides an aerial threat, and his combination play with Arnautovic could be key to unlocking opposition defences.

Overcoming Adversity: Strengths and Challenges

Austria’s newfound tactical approach has led to early and decisive goals in matches, setting the tone for aggressive gameplay. The team’s ability to gel and execute Rangnick’s complex strategies despite limited time together highlights their tactical discipline and adaptability.

However, injuries pose a significant challenge. David Alaba’s absence due to an ACL injury is a major blow given his leadership and versatility. Other key players like Alexander Schlager and Xaver Schlager also face spells on the sidelines due to similar injuries, which could impact team dynamics and performance.


The Emotional Journey of Stefan Lainer

Stefan Lainer’s comeback from lymph node cancer is not just a personal victory but an inspirational story for the team. His return to international football adds a layer of emotional depth to Austria’s campaign, embodying the spirit of perseverance that Rangnick has instilled in his team.

Realistic Optimism Ahead of Euro 2024

Austria heads into Euro 2024 with a realistic but optimistic outlook. Their history in major tournaments is modest at best, but the recent qualifying campaigns and friendly matches suggest a team that is ready to exceed expectations. The tough draw for the group stage presents a significant challenge, yet there is a sense of belief among the Austrian fans and players that this tournament could mark a turning point.

The excitement is palpable, and with Rangnick at the helm, Austria is not just aiming to participate but to make a substantial impact. As they prepare to face some of Europe’s footballing powerhouses, the strategic insights and motivational leadership of Rangnick could very well lead Austria to become one of the surprise packages of Euro 2024.

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