Nov 26

Meet the real (former) United manager

Tag: Manchester United News @ 10:15 am

FC-Barcelona-v-Real-Madrid-CF--Copa-Del-Rey--Semi-Final-Second-Leg-1732554Former Manchester United number two Mike Phelan has claimed he was in charge of Manchester United over the last five years, given the amount of work Sir Alex Ferguson chose to delegate to his assistant.

Phelan, who departed the club in the wake of David Moyes’ arrival at Old Trafford, said that while Sir Alex Ferguson remained the public face of the club, much of the work behind the scenes and on the training ground was delegate to his coaching staff, including Phelan.

The former United player has been unemployed since leaving Old Trafford in the summer, and explained how big a role the coaching staff played throughout the Fergie’s era, something Phelan believes Sir Alex Ferguson will have no problem admitting.

“With the way things have gone, my first thoughts are to be a boss.

“That’s what I’ve been doing for the last five years, albeit with the title of assistant boss.

“He [Ferguson] was the head of the establishment, there’s no doubt about it and rightly so. He didn’t get to where he’s got through not being a big decision maker, but he’ll be the first to admit that a lot of people played their part in that.

“We all were undercover in that respect. We weren’t the face of what was going on, but that was our job.

“You were decision making so I’m more than capable of handling that.”


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Tags: Manchester United News

10 Responses to “Meet the real (former) United manager”

  • So does that mean Steve round and Lumsden are now the ones running United?

    I wonder if Mikey and Rene would have done a decent job if Ferguson had left it to them?

    If Moyes is in over his head then I don’t blame him taking the job. Sometimes it’s hard to see it with your own eyes let alone admit you suck. Or at least that you’re not good enough.

    Moyes might have been the right fit for Everton. But he looks like he is drowning at United.

    Mikey and Rene might have done a great job as number 1 and 2.

    Certainly better than Moyes.

    • Both Rene Meulensteen and Phelan have done a great deal for the club, but I think it’s time they zip it. Or are we seriously going to believe that Fergie did almost nothing apart from putting the team in “auto pilot” mode?

  • no matter what Rene or Phelan say Sir Alex didn’t feel either were good enough to take over and it’s becoming more of sour grapes than anything else imo,also a good way to use the press to get the resume out there.Will say one thing makes me laugh all the fans behind Rene and Phelan now when not so long ago were the ones getting crucified as clueless and nothing more than Sir Alex’s yes men

  • When Phelan left I knew United could be in for embarassing times. In view of his experience under SAF you would think he would’ve been retained to get DM’s feet wet in top level coaching but I think his latest comment is nothing short of arrogance & lies.

  • Just seems a bit of sour grapes to me.dont know if phelan and rene don’t believe they’re getting enough credit for utd’s previous success or there’s more to it.Dont recall Mclaren, kidd or even queiroz banging on to the press after they’d departed the club, how important they wer to the running of the club.Could be phelan just bigging himself up to land himself a job back in football, only he knows his true motives.

  • I don’t doubt that Phelan did have a big role in the coaching of the team, that was his job. But there is a big difference to coaching a team, using your own creativity and initiative and coaching a team carrying out the instructions of the manager. I expect Fergie told Phelan what, when, where and how to coach the team, so all he’s really saying is he can carry out instructions. If I don’t sound complimentary about Phelan it’s because my view of him was coloured back in 1989, when on a miserable boxing day at Villa park when Utd got walloped 3-0 in what was an inept performance from a pretty poor side, Phelan was head to head with the awful Jim Leighton for worst performance of the season. At least Leighton had an excuse, he was appallingly crap, but Phelan looked passionless and uncommitted, often losing tackles that were 70-30 in his favour. I haven’t had much time for him since and I was surprised when Fergie made him assistant. If it came to a straight choice between Phelan and Moyes, I would take Moyes every time, he might look out of his depth, but I would never doubt his passion, and that puts him ahead of Phelan in my book.

  • So, even those who were once inside now think we are ripe for the pi** take.
    Well, this is exactly why it’s important to maintain order at MUFC.

    Bad enough that teams are now coming to OT thinking they WILL win whereas before they came and hoped to escape without a hammering.
    Bad enough that Mourinho taunted DM in the early days and DM allowed it to happen.
    Bad enough that DM behaves like an amateur at press conferences.
    Bad enough that the performances of MUFC currently, resemble a team who are champions of non-league rather than champions of the premiership.
    Bad enough I have listen to people saying MUFC are still a threat to winning the title again, when in reality that honour disappeared within 7 days of Swansea vs MUFC.

    But now:

    We have to endure the taunt of……. ‘SAF didn’t pull the strings…….. I did’

    Will be very interesting to listen and read how SAF responds to this, given that his ego is still huge, and must have been dented by the comments from his understudy.


    • @mike_macca:

      Not trying to sound like a believer or a recent convert, BUT

      DM has been improving in his press conferences. He’s a darker shade of green now.

      Our performances have been improving. We are not playing like champions, but we’re winning, its only mid-season and we can wait on that a bit.

      I think we still have a small chance of challenging for the title. A lot would depend on how we play against the others in the top 4. Loss (City), Loss (Livepool) Draw (Chelsea), Win (Arsenal)—–all when we were in poor form or just out of the blocks suggests there is still hope. Moyes does better in the 2nd half of the season.

      Oh, and Phelan is a twat.

      Let’s take the positives when the positives are there to take.

  • Whilst it was not unexpected given that it is common practice when a new manager takes over, but all the same did DM really have to kick out Phelan and Meulensteen and replace them with nobodies like Round and Lumsden? Surely given the magnitude of the task at hand, it would have been more sensible to keep these two and to gradually impart his ways on the modus operandi going forward? Maybe the transition would be far more seamless if this had been thought through a bit better.

    • @Julian:

      The reason it wouldn’t be sensible to keep those two is that anyone Moyes would have chosen to retain at Utd would invariably have undermined his authority and divided dressing room opinions.
      There would be a festering triangle of “how we did it with Fergie”….”how Moyes wants to do it”….and “how it needs to be done”, and Rene or Phelan being there would fuel that.

      This way its only “how Moyes wants to do it”. It was a risk to go it alone, and even I wished he would have retained some of the staff but I think he took the bigger view in that if Man Utd was to lose Ferguson, they would have to completely remove any last vestiges of his influence or the club would not retain its hunger or its clarity in direction.

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