Manchester United fans have expressed their delight at seeing Under-18s coach Kieran McKenna promoted to Jose Mourinho’s coaching staff for the 2018/19 season.
The 32-year-old was brought to Man United from Tottenham Hotspur in 2016 and has yielded instant success with the Under-18s, winning this season’s Professional U18 Development League 1 North title and averaging three goals a game in the process.
Mourinho has included McKenna, along with Michael Carrick and Sampdoria fitness coach Stefano Rapetti, in the restructuring plan for his coaching staff following the departure of his long time assistant Rui Faria.
And supporters have reacted positively to the appointment of the highly rated McKenna to first team operations.
McKenna was headhunted at Spurs having done a superb job with the academy players and he has continued in the same vein at United, his boyhood club.
While turmoil and angst continues to surround the style of Mourinho’s first team, McKenna has relentlessly fostered a culture of quick, explosive, efficient attacking football, bringing both verve and tenacity to a group of players who have blossomed under his leadership. Angel Gomes, Taith Chong, Mason Greenwood and Ethan Galbraith are all glowing examples.
He is a man with a natural eye for the game, an ability to spot talent and put it to use effectively in a bold, forward-thinking system.
At a time when United supporters have grown numb to Mourinho’s football, perhaps McKenna’s addition, combined with the wisdom of Carrick, could engender a vital change of tone at Old Trafford next season.