United reportedly working on new deals for Carrick and McKenna

Manchester United assistant manager Mike Phelan has extended his contract until June 2024.

United confirmed the news yesterday, in another show of faith in Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.

And United are already apparently plotting their next backroom moves, as per BBC Sport.

They report that United are working on new deals for Michael Carrick and Kieran McKenna.

Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images


Timing is important

With United going through a patchy period of form, the ‘Ole Out’ calls online have flared up again.

There has never been any indication that United are going to make a change, and they extended Solskjaer’s contract in the summer.

But they are now solidifying the structure around him, and tying down his backroom team.

That can only be interpreted as a show of faith. Why would United extend the contract of Solskjaer’s assistant manager if there were plans to sack him?

Matthew Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

Do United need a more senior coach?

McKenna and Carrick are highly-rated coaches, but they do not have a great deal of experience.

Even with Phelan on board, who worked so closely with Sir Alex Ferguson and legendary United teams, the bench can sometimes look short on ideas.

That’s true with regards changing the course of some games. There’s plenty of calm discussion in the dugout, but often substitutions are made too late or tactical flaws go unresolved.

United also still do not have a clear, defined philosophy and this is something that a fresh face on the bench could help with.

It does not seem that there are any plans for a shake-up or a new man on board, but perhaps it is something worth considering as Solskjaer looks for the tweaks to take United to the next level.

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Sam Preston is an NCTJ gold standard news and sports journalist who studied with the Press Association. He also has a 2:1 law with French law degree from the University of Birmingham, which included a year studying at Bordeaux Montaigne University. He is an FA Level 1 football coach who appeared on the BBC’s Victoria Derbyshire show in 2018 and has also written digital football content and match-day programme pieces for Colchester United, Mansfield Town and Stockport County.