Manchester United’s summer clear out has already begun

by Sam Peoples

Sir Alex Ferguson’s departure from Manchester United has left a huge hole for David Moyes to fill but it is only the tip of the iceberg in a summer where massive changes have already begun.

The club has confirmed the departure of assistant manager Mike Phelan and goalkeeping coach Eric Steele and the future of first team coach Rene Meulensteen is currently up in the air.

Although Phelan’s departure was expected, Steele’s was a surprise. His work with De Gea transformed the youngster from a slippery fingered Spaniard into the Premier League’s best goalkeeper within two years. Steele had even reportedly started to learn Spanish and he will be sorely missed at the club (read this excellent tribute to Steele Scott from The Republik of Mancunia).

In Phelan, we had an able assistant manager but I never felt he had a real influence on the team (tactically and mentally) in the same fashion that Carlos Queiroz did before he left in 2008. I think he is replaceable and there is a stand-out candidate for me – Meulensteen.

‘The way he (Meulensteen) trains is exceptional. He is truly one of the best coaches in the world. I have had a lot of good trainers, but it’s the way he prepares our team for games. Every match is different, so every training session in the build-up to games is unique. We know exactly what to expect and he wins points for us through his training.” Robin van Persie

The Dutchman has been first-team coach since 2008 but he has been at the club 2001 (except for a one year stint with Brondby) and   he was in charge of both the Youth and Reserve teams before taking up his current role. His knowledge of everything about the club is what makes it such an attracting proposition to have him as assistant manager.

Van Persie heaped praise on Meulensteen for helping him hit the ground running at Old Trafford and his relationship with the players is always one that has created a mutual respect.

‘The way he (Meulensteen) trains is exceptional,” van Persie said.

“He is truly one of the best coaches in the world. I have had a lot of good trainers, but it’s the way he prepares our team for games.

“Every match is different, so every training session in the build-up to games is unique. We know exactly what to expect and he wins points for us through his training.”

“We’ve won a lot of games by the odd goal and they are point winners, which we train for. For instance, against Chelsea I scored after a low cross from Antonio Valencia on the right. It might seem a fluke but the whole week before the game was spent working on that move.

“Another example is my goal against Wigan, when I cut the ball inside and shot with my right foot. Again this situation, we trained on. Training is really good. It’s a very pleasant environment to work in.”

Moyes would benefit if his right-hand man could tell him the strengths/weaknesses of every player and given that he has personally the team for years, I can’t see anybody else more qualified to take up the role then Meulensteen. And if Giggs, Scholes and Butt take up their coaching roles as expected, it would give Moyes the sort of support he needs to settle in at Old Trafford.

Rumours have surfaced of Dutch outfit FC Twente wanting to appoint Meulensteen as manager and United may well struggle to keep hold of  him if he gets offered a job he can’t refuse.

But we need to keep as many experienced heads at the club because of the major changes that have happened and keeping Meulensteen should be of paramount importance to the board at United, so long as Moyes wants him.

Photo: Daily Mirror

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Francis Ocen 05/28/2013 - 15:32

Every fan of UTD is agitated by uncertainity which is a new feeling to the fans, lets give Moye time n space plus resources to work n results will tell

Srikanth 05/28/2013 - 12:48

It is too much change together, I am not sure about Phelan, but Meulensteen would surely be a huge loss. Lets hope Moyes knows what he is doing.

Musungu edwin 05/28/2013 - 06:36

But da issue is 3top coaches leaving at once atleast rene could have remained 2link the relationship btn moyes&players

Reno 05/28/2013 - 04:48

as much as we goes by saying Moyes ain’t the right cut for the job, there’s also ain’t many others being the right person to fill in the boots left by Sir Alex Ferguson. Each and every manager has his own sets of mentality and team that he’s comfortable working with. As far things goes, he just want to start of afresh with his own team of staff. We might disagree but we aren’t the one that is clocking in and out of AEON training complex everyday and be at the dugout for every matches, but Moyes is. So he has to have his team of trusted lieutenants to fight the war with him. Time will tell if this is the right call for Moyes being made as United’s manager.

Utdfan 05/27/2013 - 15:18

Too bad Rene has decided to leave after being demoted by Moyes cause he wants to bring in his cronies……..good on you Rene, at least you show the ASS of a manager that you still have your dignity intact……….still believe that Fergie and club appointing A small town hick to a global club !!! was a grave error in judgement cause there are many more capable and experienced managers in the world…….instead we have to tolerate this Scottish guy…….by the way, how good is Scottish football in the world?

brian 05/27/2013 - 21:00

u do realise ferguson is scottish too?? and at the time of him takin over in 86 im sure there was the same things bein said by “fans” like urself! give the man some support b4 judgin his abilities and what he brings to da table b4 the season has even nearly begun!

Billz 05/28/2013 - 13:15

Mate I tell u how good….. sir Alex ferguson 27 years 1 club over 20 trophys……. Want me to go on……..
Nw u armchair supporter ur probly live in london or Wales or sumthing shut up and support the team n manager stop crying like a bitch!!!

Natural Red 05/28/2013 - 15:11

Obviously they weren’t looking essentially for ‘more capable and experienced managers’ who these days too often explode on to the scene with reasonable success then leave the place in a mess.The word is – LONGEVITY! I can only imagine the decision was based partly on his tough,solemn, conservative character with hard work ethic to match.His sense of good judgement of buying good young talent at a modest budget(whilst at Everton).

I don’t see him as a replacement to SAF,but rather a continuation of our History,System and Philosophy(which I have no doubt)would’ve been trodden under foot by the very same “managers” you hold in such high esteem in comparison to the lowly Moyes?Like Real Madrid and Barcelona, United have a system in place all is needed is the RIGHT manager to slot in there and continue.

Give the guy a chance.


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