Between the Lines

"Of all unimportant subjects, football is the most important" – Pope John Paul II

Second-choice Mike

Posted by hakanrylander on September 4, 2008

Mike Phelan is an excellent coach whose contribution to the success of the last two seasons has largely gone unnoticed. Even so, he was probably second-choice to become our new assistant manager. Firstly, he doesn’t really fit the expected profile. I think Ferguson was looking for a foreign coach who could bring in new ideas and perhaps also connect with the expanding group of Portugese-speakers in the squad (i.e. a Queiroz clone). Secondly, the timing of the appointment indicates that the manager was exploring other avenues. There was always a possibility that Queiroz would be tempted by an attractive offer, as previously from Real Madrid. Ferguson must have been prepared for this, and if he was convinced that he wanted to promote from within the appointment could have been made more quickly. My guess is that he sounded out one or two international names, and when he was unsuccessful he turned to Phelan.

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One Response to “Second-choice Mike”

  1. Why appoint one that does not quite fit the bill?
    What exactly does an assistant manager do anyway?

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