According to the BBC’s Simon Stone, ‘After Mike Phelan, understand @ManUtd working on new contracts for Michael Carrick and Kieran McKenna. Faith remains but clearly results shape the future for every manager.’
— Simon Stone (@sistoney67) October 5, 2021
In preparing the new contracts to the principal members of the first team coaching staff, the United board seem to be offering a vote of confidence to under-fire manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, whose own contract was extended in the summer, and his technical team.
Questions have been raised among the fanbase and journalists about the experience and credentials of both Solskjaer, who had only managed Cardiff City and Molde before his appointment at United, and the coaches.
McKenna came with a good reputation which was mainly based on one year of coaching in the Tottenham Hotspur academy.
Carrick got the job when retiring as a player due to a heart condition.
Some argue that Solskjaer’s inexperience as a manager should have been compensated for by employing more experienced coaches.
Despite a glittering managerial career, Manchester City’s Pep Guardiola has a much more experienced complement of coaches.
Assistant Rodolfo Borrell has been a manager/coach since 1995, working at every level of Barcelona’s academy and at Liverpool before taking up the role at City.
Juamma Lillo, another assistant to Guardiola, has coached around the world at clubs such as Real Sociedad, Almeria, Qingdao Huanghai and Sevilla as well as the Chile national side.
Likewise, Thomas Tuchel’s assistant Zsolt Low has gained experience at Paris St Germain, RB Leipzig and Red Bull Salzburg, while Arno Michels has coached at PSG, Borussia Dortmund and Mainz, among other clubs.
By extending the entire United coaching staff’s deals at this stage, the board is continuing to put tremendous faith in the ‘United DNA’ experiment, valuing club history, loyalty and, some would say sentimentality, over credentials and experience.
Whether that faith will be rewarded, only time will tell.