Manchester United have officially give Mike Phelan a three-year deal as assistant manager at the club. Even though Ole Gunnar Solskjaer was hired on a full-time basis earlier, the SAF-era coach was still at the club on an interim and this is news that fans will welcome.
Here’s what Phelan had to say about the appointment: “I am thrilled to be back as Assistant Manager. Manchester United has been a huge part of my life since I joined as a player in 1989 and I am delighted to be able to continue that relationship in this key role. Since returning in December, I have enjoyed working with Ole, Michael, Kieran, Mark and Emilio and we are all focused on preparing for the new season.”
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer remarked the following about Phelan staying on: “Mike is a great person to have around and has been invaluable to me since we returned in December. He brings a wealth of experience to this role with a long established connection to the club. We have a good group of coaching staff and we are already working on the challenges that lie ahead as we plan for the new season and the future beyond.
“He walks around Carrington and players really respect him. They know what he can do and he’s worked with the best. I’m a young manager, I still feel I’m young anyway, and Mick’s got more experience in a few areas than I have.”
However, this announcement will also leave a few heads scratching as Phelan was believed to be the front-runner for the Director of Football position at the club. His appointment as assistant manager now leaves the question as to who will occupy that all-important spot.
As for now, the Sir Alex Ferguson ethos remains strong at Old Trafford and they may need it now more than ever.