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After Queiroz and Mancini… Phelan Was The Obvious Choice?

Mike Phelan comes across as a good lad, shorts and all. He’s been with the club for donkeys and knows how things should work behind the scenes. I assume he has a good relationship with the players and is clearly a man who Sir Alex Ferguson trusts.

However, after losing Carlos Queiroz, whose tactics transformed United in Europe, enabling to put in solid performances against the likes of Roma and Barcelona, playing in a way we’d never seen United successfully pull off before, I was hoping for an assistant from a similar mold. Someone who understood the European game, who had a good knowledge about talent abroad, and who could get Sir Alex to think with his head rather than his heart (for example, stopping the Scot from subbing on John O’Shea in the closing minutes of the Champions League final against Chelsea in preference for penalty taker Anderson!).

It appears as though the club were thinking in the same way, approaching the up-and-coming manager and former Inter boss, Roberto Mancini.

”I really believe that next year he will return to coaching a big club,” said his agent yesterday. ”I think that everyone aspires to have someone like him, he has showed on the pitch how well he knows how to make his teams play and that he knows how to win. Where will he go? He would want to go abroad. A little while ago there was contact with United but they were offering him only the role of Ferguson’s assistant. And that didn’t suit him.”

Of course, after managing one of the top clubs in Italy, we were pushing our luck a little to think he would take the step down to assistant, with the confident manager clearly preferring to go a year jobless than go backwards, but this was the right direction to take.

I’m not slagging Phelan off or saying he’s doing a bad job because truth be told, we have no idea what kind of job he’s doing. I imagine he’s carrying on in the way he was before, United through and through, great in training, good for a laugh, helpful with the league, but will offer us little on the continent. Is Phelan going to be able to mastermind results against the likes of Barcelona? I won’t hold my breath.

It will be interesting to see what happens when Ferguson leaves, which may be sooner rather than later according to his son, in terms of possibly preferring the more regimental Queiroz and Mancini types, over the more sentimental Ferguson and Phelan characters. Time will tell I suppose…

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

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  1. King Eric says:

    As Costas said last night the way Portugals results have been going it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Carlos back at Old Trafford next season.

  2. costas says:

    Let’s be honest.SAF and Carlos Quieroz are not as good separately as they are together.They complimented each other perfectly.Of course i know that Fergie has managed without an assistant in the past.But as Scott says,Carlos has been allowed more initiatives than other coaches maybe due to SAF getting older.I wasn’t crazy about Phelan and even though we did this wonderful run after the CWC,the problems in discipline were still there.That’s another issue that i feel that Carlos was good at.On the other hand,Fergie felt that it was better to stick to Carlos’ basics rather than going for a new coach that would change everything.Carlos has been a flop for Portugal,flat out.Just like he was at Portugal.Will he come back?Not so sure now King Eric.LAst summer the board established that he will not take over from SAF.So will he come back just tom leave after one year?

  3. FailsworthDevil says:

    Im with Costa’s on this… SAF is the perfect man manager, and CQ is a fantastic tecnhical coach… and it forms a brilliant partnership…

    Mike Phelan isnt the number 2 i would expect and want at OT… even though there is no doubting his committment to the club

  4. Neli G says:

    id have liked meulensteen to have been made AM as oppsed to first team coach, hes quite similar to quieroz…

  5. OTRed says:

    Yeah sure, so this little piece of info has been known since last summer, but only somehow came out now when he has been linked to Chelsea? It sounds like the kinda stunts agents pull with players: when negotiations aren’t going your way, mention United and you hike the price.

    And please, the CQ contribution is waay overrated, I doubt he was ever involved in any “discplinary issues”, the players are just frustrated at not playing well and thus lash out, I’m sure it happened last season too. United fans are just looking for reasons to pin our form on, at the beginning of the season after we lost to Arsenal and conceded 3 to Hull, everyone said we were missing Queiroz because he was the one helping with out defensive tactic and was the reason why we were solid at the back last season, now somehow we get 3 reds in 2 games and again it was because Queiroz was helping with the players discipline, maybe if go on an injury spree(hope not), we’ll soon start seeing people saying Queiroz helped with the players fitness? Really pathetic.

    And why should he be allowed to come back? He left us once to pursue a job at RM, left us again to pursue a job as Portugal coach, if he has any integrity left, he won’t come back, you don’t keep running off and then running back to United’s arms. Plus if he comes back, he’s always gonna be a number 2 cuz god forbid that he takes over from Fergie.

  6. costas says:

    You won’t take over OTRed.That was established last summer.And his spell at Portugal hasn’t made his resume more impressive either.Clearly though somethings have changed since last year.This year i believe we have had 7-8 red cards.Last season,apart from Nani’s against West Ham,i can’t recall another red card.My thinking on this is that when Carlos was at the club he was the one who was spending more time with the players during the week.So in a way he was the one responsible for their mental preparation.Carlos is not as fiery as SAF,we know that.So maybe he was able to keep the players more relaxed and focused on their business.It seems to me that whoever was with the players the week before Fulham(whether it’s Phelan,Renee or SAF himself) got them more nervous and frustarted instead of relaxing them.And on a final note,i do think that Carlos was able to have a better understanding(football wise) with Ronaldo,Nani and Anderson.Is it a coincidence that the latter 2 have worst seasons this year?I am not compalining about Robaldo’s season.18 goals and more assists than last season is good enough for me.

  7. costas says:

    At the start i meant he won’t take over

  8. denton davey says:

    What a lot of malarkey – up until the “blip”, it was arguable that Phelan was doing an incredible job as #2; now, the knives come out and CQ is once again regarded as the lost boy. How anyone can believe that Quieroz has some sort of magic powder that he dispenses over the players is completely belied by the inept performances of the Portuguese national side. How can anyone believe that this guy knows his ass from his elbow when he plays Raul Miereles for 90 minutes and keeps genuine talents like Moutinho, Nani, and Veloso on the bench ? A while back, when it was all doom-and-gloom that CQ had jumped ship a second time, the point was made that SAF has won with all sorts of guys at #2, and that these assistants have usually done sweet-fuck-all when given the chance to be the manager in their own right elsewhere. Worrying about the assistant is rather like looking at the tree and missing the forest – i.e., the boss, the gaffer, the OldFootieKnight. He’s the main man because he’s the main man.

  9. costas says:

    Of course he is the main man denton.Can he do it all alone these days?That’s the issue.Don’t you see a difference in the temperament of our lads this season compared to the previous ones?Personally,i never regarded Mike Phelan as a great assistant.Scott mentioned a great example up above.Would Phelan have the guts to tell SAF not to make a substitution.CQ is crap when in charge,that’s for sure.You mentioned 3 names and i will tell you one more:Edinho.He is a striker who plays here in Greece and is very effective.CQ didn’t have any strikers,yet he didn’t even put him on the bench.But when it comes to United,Fergie and CQ were gold together.Look at what happened to Scolari’s Chelsea after Frank Clark left.There is always a main man for sure.But some times,the assistant can make the difference.I really hope that when the season ends i will have made an ass out of myself talking like this.

  10. OTRed says:

    Are Nani and Anderson the first players ever to come to a foreign club, have a good first season, then have an average one that pales to the first one they had? Nope, so I’m NOT convinced Quieroz’s absence is the reason for that. This season we have seen shades of what Nani and Anderson did last season, so its not as if CQ’s absence, suddenly made them awful, they still have it, they just can’t be consistent. Judging from the reports, Ronaldo’s performance for Portugal was just as average as it has been for United, so I doubt Quieroz’s influence could do anything. Also in case you haven’t noticed, none of our red cards besides Rooney’s has been for lashing out at refs or violent conduct, so I disagree with your “relaxation and mental preparation theory too”. We’ve had 2 hand ball reds for Scholes, 2 professional foul reds for Vidic, one handball red for Ronaldo. None of those red cards to me have anything to do with being relaxed or being mentally prepared, they’re just daft mistakes that footballers make, it just happened to all be under Phelan. Somehow I don’t think Chelsea’s dip in form has anything to do with Clark, he was with Scolari for just a few months, so I don’t think he had much influence, the team just looked like they were soo used to Mourinho style football that they weren’t flexible enough to adapt to anything else.

    On substitution: would Quieroz have the guts either? Viv Anderson was on MUTV a while ago to address this Queiroz thingy when a United fan called and asked if Queiroz was really the main man and made it clear it United was pretty much a one- man show with Fergie running most things, somehow I doubt that If Fergie’s mind is made up on something, not even Queiroz can change it.

  11. costas says:

    Well there have been reports about the O’Shea substitution in the Ch.League final.The fact that CQ had input on our playing style is evident by the way we approached the Roma and Barca away games last year and the way we played at Inter this year.With CQ we were more contained.I didn’t say that Ronaldo was out of form.I said that about Nani and Anderson.However i do believe that we wouldn’t have seen so much petulance from Ronaldo if Quieroz was still here.My 2 cents on this ordeal is that Fergie needs a man like Quieroz next to him these years.Not during the game but during the week in order to help with the preparation and give their ideas on the training.My thought about the red cards had nothing to do with lashing out.We have gotten 7 red cards and 5(Scholes’ 2,Ronaldo’s,Rooney’s and Vida’s at JApan) of them could have been avoided.My question was why didn’t the same thing happen last year?Or the year before?Personally i believe it’s because the players went into the game more focused.It’s an “let’s agree that we disagree” issue.Some fans will agree with me while most will agree with you.I have no problem with that.I wish i am proved wrong.

  12. smokebreaksteve says:

    denton davey your post was excellent.Shit happens and whilst I am not the biggest fan of Phelan, Queiroz has many missgivings too. The one thing I have noticed with Phelan is his obvious influence on Sir Alex as far as Park goes. He seems to play in all the big games and his work ethic is excellent but there seems to be a lack nouse when it comes to breaking teams down. This was also apparent under QC so I am not sure that anything has changed under Phelan. I really think the job of No.2 went to Phelan because they have picked Ferguson’s successor already and want a smooth transition between New coach and team. An English speaking No.2 implies the new guy will be foreign thus ruling out Moyes,Bruce and Sparky. My own opinion for what it is worth is Cappello is nailed on for the job but I hope not. He is too aloof and would not endear himself to the fans. I would like to see a younger guy with new ideas working alongside someone like Giggs as a No.2. I really hope QC doesn’t return as we would be taking a step backward. I think Moyes would appreciate the attacking element that would have to be retained and his eye for a younger player is second only to Ferguson. I think that Phelan’s appointment does not bode well for the appointment of a British manager though

  13. costas says:

    smokebreaksteve i am not so sure what Phelan’s appontment means when it comes to our next manager.I think that whoever comes after Fergie,Phelan will not be there.I do agree that we kept him for a smooth transition.If Fergie appointed a foreign assistant then that person would have wanted to be considered as his replacement when he left.Fergie also hoped that with Phelan they would have continued CQ’s work but it’s not so easy.Looking back now,everything was a waste wasn’t it?Scolari left Portugal opening the door for CQ.And now Scolari is unemployed and CQ will follow suit.It’s a shame Carlos never realised what his limitations were.

  14. denton davey says:

    Steve: “The one thing I have noticed with Phelan is his obvious influence on Sir Alex as far as Park goes. He seems to play in all the big games and his work ethic is excellent but there seems to be a lack nouse when it comes to breaking teams down”

    I don’t buy this line – scoring goals is not what Park is for. ThreeLungPark is in the starting line-up because neither Ronaldo nor Berbatov does much hassling or harrying. Park is essentially a “defensive forward”. It’s an experiment that worked insofar as the long, long goals-against drought is concerned BUT the downside has been that it has blunted last year’s attacking trident.

    I’m of the opinion that there are big, big problems (at both ends of the pitch) with a team-sheet that contains BOTH Ronaldo and Berbatov. It seems to me to be blaming Park for their deficiencies – he’s actually the solution and not the problem. But the deeper problem is that the Berbatov experiment has not worked.

  15. costas says:

    Also,with Nani out of shorts and Giggs regarded as a central midfielder,there isn’t anybody else to play on the wing.Tevez score for Argentina yesterday.I wonder how long before Fergie realises that at this moment,Berba is better off as an effective substitute.

  16. OTRed says:

    How could the 5 reds that came from Scholes, Rooney and Vidic have been avoided? Have we ever lost 2 important games in a row under Queiroz? I don’t think so, therefore there’s no way we could have known what Rooney would have done if Queiroz was here. I still think its frustration and I fail to believe that a manager who has been in charge for TWENTY TWO YEARS and has gone through different assistant managers who we’ve had more success with(treble anyone?) would suddenly start to lose his grip on the team or have difficulty coping with managing some players. because some guy who he has worked with for 2years decided to pursue his “dream job”.

  17. Scott the Red says:

    Denton Davey – before the blip everyone was saying Phelan was doing a cracking job? I must have missed that. Not to say he was getting criticised but I don’t remember anyone singing his praises. Singing his praises for what exactly? Good interviews of Match of the Day?

    Queiroz did a great job as our number two, he’s proving at Portugal that he isn’t great when he’s top dog. But you’ve got to be barking to think that it was Ferguson who instructed those displays against Roma away and both legs against Barcelona. It was Queiroz’s magic powder that did it, but it was down to him.

    I don’t see Phelan as a tactical magician… and if we go on to win the lot this season, my feelings on that won’t change. It’s not as if we looked great before the blip either, if we’re honest. That’s not Phelan’s fault, but I’m not sure where the idea that he was fantastic has come…?

  18. smokebreaksteve says:

    denton davey I think I have worded my post wrong. I didn’t mean that Park didn’t have the nouse to break teams down as I know he is not the ceative type and I appreciate he is the workhorse that does the donkey work for Berbatov and Ronaldo. I meant collectively the team does struggle for new ideas when trying to break a team down. That has to come from the coaching and although we won the league and CL last year I think we also struggled at times to open a team up who did not want to come out and play. Please don’t get me wrong I am not critisizing Park I think he more than pulls his weight for the team I was just making the point that he starts more of the big games than he did last seasonI really thought that Berbatov was the last piece of the jigsaw but he has not adapted as well as I thought. Having said that there is a gifted side to Berbatov and I really think it will come good. I think Ronaldo should use pace and power to fly past full backs and get the ball into the box, then we can truly judge Berbatov who I think would be as prolific as Ruud given the right service. Trouble with Ronaldo is you and me can see the full back is there for the taking but he seems to insist on losing the split second of timing by throwing the obligatory stepover or trick in that more often than not looks like something from Riverdance. This results in him losing the ball and sitting on his arse shaking his head, not getting up,not tracking back. We knew what we were getting when we bought Berbatov so his lack of workrate doesn’t surprise me but he has too much talent to call it an experiment that hasn’t worked.

  19. costas says:

    OTRed.We under Quieroz we did have bad little spells.We lost 4-1 at Boro and then 1-0 at Lille.The Lille one was important because we were struggling in the Ch.League.Boro was also imprtant because we were losing ground on Chelsea.Yet not Rooney nor anyone threw balls at the officials.It’s like this.Rooney could have avoided the red card if he had kept his anger in check.Scholes could have avoided the red card against Zenit.Is there a reason why he had to do a handball there?He wasn’t playing volleyball.Against Fulham it was more difficult to avoid,i agree.His instict took over.Ronaldo’s red at City was bizarre but i still feel that he could have avoided it.And against Quito,Vida had no reason to lean in like that.Not all of these red cards are due to frustration.The players aren’t playing with a clear mind as we would say here in Greece and they are making bad judgment calls.7 reds is unheard of for United and we all trying to see how it could have happened.Trying to think out of the box,i speculate that it might be due to a lack of good mental preparation before the games.I will never ever,take anything away from Ferguson.I just don’t think that at this stage of his life he can handle it alone.That was also evident in 03-04.The team had a fantastic run until Christmas,but once Rio got banned we collapsed.I think his decision then to bring in Walter Smith in March was evident.And Quieroz wasn’t at United for 2 years.Including the 02-03 season,he was for 5 years next to Sir Alex.And may i add,with fantastic results against Arsenal and LIverpool in that time period.Can’t say the same this season,can we?

  20. OTRed says:

    I meant two games in the league obviously, losing in the prem and then losing one leg of a CL tie, does in no way compare to losing to your biggest rivals, then getting beat by Fulham. And you didn’t answer my question, how could the presence of Queiroz have helped with those red cards? And wasn’t it Queiroz who was there when we were beat by Arsenal both home and away? Wasn’t he the one in charge too when we got thrashed by Chelsea? Blaming the teams blip in form as Queiroz’s absence is just strange, we should have Fergie retire then because from the looks of things, he can’t handle the team anymore.

    @Scott: so it was mainly Queiroz who thought up the tactics against Roma and Barca, then why do we have Fergie then? Seeing that Queiroz was the man mostly in charge of those two impressive wins, we might as well have them switch places.

    I still maintain its everyone looking for excuses, I could bet my life that if the roles were reversed and Phelan was the one who left and it was Queiroz as the assistant now, everyone would still be saying the same thing.

  21. costas says:

    OTRed,i told you before.It’s a team effort these days.When Carlos(or any other reknowned coach like McClaren) was at the club,they would handle most of the day to day stuff.Now,either Phelan or Renee handle the training and the preparation of the team throughout the week or SAF helps them out as well.This is a much more compicated system than what SAF and CQ had.They split their responsibilities but of course,SAF was the main man.How Quieroz would have helped?I told you.Take this as a wild guess and my personal opinion only.I feel that in the previous seasons,the players were better prepared mentally.This season they have some lapses in jusdgement.As if they are confused when they play.And of course,Fergie shouldn’t retire.He should just share the responibilities with someone more capable.Scott isn’t far off.Look at how we played last year at Roma and BArca and how we played this year at Inter.We weren’t as compact this season and we were far more adventurous.I will tell you what we will do about the results.I will give you Fergie’s league results against the big teams with and without Carlos since 2001(after McClaren left):

    -Without Carlos(seasons 01-02,03-04,08-09):

    3 wins 4 draws 10 losses.(excluding this year’s United-Arsenal match)

    -With CArlos(seasons 02-03,04-05):

    17 wins 7 draws 7 losses.

    Quieroz was there in the instances you mentioned.But he wasn’t there when Arsenal and LIverpool did the double over us in 2002 nor was he there when Cheolsea beat us 3-0 at OT.Trust me,no one is taking anything away from Ferguson.If i had to choose one of the two,i would pick him in a heartbeat.I am just saying that both of them are better off while they are together.I am not sure if Phelan can compliment SAF like that at the moment.

  22. costas says:

    In Carlos’ seasons,i meant( 02-03,04-08).And when i say share responsibilities with someone better,i mean better than Phelan not SAF.

  23. denton davey says:

    Scott, I don’t think that I was saying that Phelan was alone responsible for the clean=sheet run but I was saying that he was the #2 during that impressive streak. And, if you’re going to rain on his parade then I think you should balance that with some praise for the good times. Really, we have no idea what the “assistant” really does or what he’s responsible for BUT we all know who the main man is.

    Steve : “I think Ronaldo should use pace and power to fly past full backs and get the ball into the box, then we can truly judge Berbatov who I think would be as prolific as Ruud given the right service.”

    I think you’re clutching at straws on this – Ronaldo is much, much less useful when he’s stuck out on the wing; he’s incredibly dangerous – and his strengths are maximized – when he’s given the freedom to cut inside and whack the ball at goal. ALSO, I don’t think that comparing Berbatov to RVN is a useful exercise because, to my way of thinking, Berbatov is more like Rooney (or Tevez) in being a # 10. Compared to Ruud, who was a great #9, these other guys play a different game. What frustrates me is that just when it looked like SAF had realized that a classic #9 is too easy to defend, he’s seemingly given up on the attacking trident (what I like to call the “whirligig”) and tried to fit these guys into a role for which not one of them is really suited. Playing Berbatov with Rooney and Ronaldo means benching Tevez which isn’t a good thing and it means that ThreeLungPark has to have more playing time because neither Berbatov or Ronaldo seems willing to do the defending-from-the-front that Rooney and Tevez will go.

    Like you, Steve, I’m hoping that Berbatov shows why “SAF knows” and I know sweet-fuck-all but…. this member of the jury is still out on that.

  24. denton davey says:

    After clicking “Submit” I realized that I could have – should have – said that one possible solution to TheBerbatovConundrum might be to play Rooney and Tevez in the water-carrier roles and see if that frees up Ronaldo and Berbatov to do their thing in a pleasing way. Doing that would be much easier IF Hargreaves was available to play with Fletcherinho and Carrick in the holding roles.

  25. Giles Oakley says:

    I said it back in August: try Tevez wide on the right. Remember how good Hargreaves was in that position (God how we miss him). Tevez has many of the 3Lung qualities, but can also cut in and score. He was doing it away against Spurs last season when he got that classic late equaliser. With Tevez there, we can get back to the ‘whirligig’ (good term) or carousel approach, constant interchanging with Rooney, Ronaldo, and Berba.

  26. Drew Vader says:

    Someone said we dont have anyone else besides Park to play on the left wing, but why not try Fabio?!? I’ve asked for peoples opinions on this 100 times on this blog and haven’t had a response yet. But surely he could be useful there with Evra behind him to help. I’m not saying throw him in on the road against a top team, but at home against some crap opposition, why not?

  27. themarkedman72 says:

    i said it at the start of the season biggest transfer in the summer was CQ to portugal.

  28. costas says:

    Drew Vader i am all for Fabio getting his chance.I think that in the Reserves he has played more advanced some times.Evra would also benefit form this because they could interchange and Pat won’t have to do the running he has been doing while playing behind Ronaldo or Park.The problem is that SAF won’t gamble at this stage.I am afraid to say that until the title is won or lost for good,we won’t see Fabio get a run out.Well at least he and Owen will be like new signings next season.

  29. bossdem says:

    otred- denton davey- thank god some of us seem to be keeping our sanity! honestly, im appalled and sickened at the rubbish being spouted about phelan. scott- u mention the fact that nobody was singing phelans praises b4 our little blip. ur spot on. thats because most muppets had already come out after a matter of weeks or months saying how poor a choice he was an all that trash. im afraid lots of you were and still clearly are waiting for muck to throw at phelan. ur an embarrasment to utd fans.

  30. costas says:

    @bossdem So critisizing a United selection makes you an embarassment?Mate you have to live for one year in a place like my home country and see under what kind of pressure the managers are here.SAF has been a legend.The best manager ever in English Football.However that will not shut me up when i see that something isn’t quite right because even SAF can make mistakes.So no,for me Phelan wasn’t the best choice.I have felt like that since the start of the season.EVer since McClaren left,whenever SAF has trief feeling the gap of his assistant from inside Old Trafford(with Jim Ryan in 01-02 and 03-04) we haven’t had the best of seasons.I would have preferred if someone had come along that would take more initiatives.This isn’t about Carlos,but in the last couple of years whenever the players needed new instructions,we saw Quieroz at the touchline as much or even more than SAF.This year,we see Phelan on the touchline a lot less than SAF.That proves how much he trusts one and the other to give their own input.As i said in a previous post,i wish that come May i will have made an ass out of myself by not having faith in Phelan.I will be the first to acknowledge my mistake.However that doesn’t mean that me or anyone else don’t have the right to voice our concern.If that makes me an embarassment that spouts rubbish about Phelan,then so be it.I will let everybody else who never sees anything wrong United inner workings be true United fans.

  31. bossdem says:

    costas- first off im not your mate. secondly, i never said that anyone “criticising a united selection” is an embarassment. i just said that i believe fans who r gobbin off about phelan are clutching at straws and more than likely(like u were honest enough to admit) didnt want him from the start. for any outsiders to the camp, (which as far as im aware includes both me and you,) to even suggest they know whos best suited for the job in hand and that the boss doesnt, in this case assistant manager, in my opinion, is an idiot who really hasnt thought things through enough. certainly not to the extent that saf , i suspect, did in the summer. i cannot even be bothered to go through with anyone, the endless reasons i have for being pissed with know it alls like urself who think you know better. the list is way too long an im getting sick of having to point out logic and reason to people who are more clued up on who we need as assistant than saf!
    as for ur final comments. grow up please. dont put words into my mouth please. i never said u didnt have the right to voice ur opinion so i dont know why u felt the need to say that. i never said either, that anyone who sees anything wrong with the clubs inner workings is an idiot so please stop twisting my words
    finally, how on earth can you wait until may to find out if uv made an ass out of urself?! lets say we get beat on pens in the cl final. what does that make u? compared to if we win again? what if we win the league in the last min of the 90 on the last day? what if we dont?

  32. bossdem says:

    scott- had to laugh. just read ur article on being depressed, which im sure most of us have been under a cloud for a while now!
    anyway, just thought it was a bit ironic how at the end of that piece you called for no more criticisms of individuals, and then write this piece of rubbish the day after. if i didnt know better i,d be wondering if u were an abu in disguise. however i do know better, and i cant wait for this cloud to pass over so u cant stop writing so bitterly, and i can stop feeling so bitter reading some of the defeatist know it all comments from our “fans”!

  33. Scott the Red says:

    Bossdem – sorry, please show me the part where I criticised Phelan. I don’t think the guy is a tactical wizard. That’s hardly a criticism. Just because I would prefer someone with a better understanding of European football as our number two doesn’t mean I’m slating Phelan.

    That’s not me being “bitter” and it’s not me being a “know it all” either. However, if reading RoM makes you feel bitter, then don’t read it anymore. Clearly you’re a touch sensitive :)

  34. costas says:

    Bossdem,don’t forget that Terry’s slip in Moscow was the the reason Avram Grant didn’t stay at Chelsea.So yes,sometimes even things like that prove whether one was right or not.And if you have seen my posts from above,i mention that i do understand the reason Phelan was appointed.At this point anyone who would come from outside the club would want to be considered as Fergie’s replacement when he retires.Also with Phelan,they can still work to a degree on the basics that they had with Carlos.What i am saying is that while i understand why Phelan is his asssistant,i wish that it could have been someone else.I hate sounding off like Benitez here,but you can see above some facts about how better United have done in the big games with CArlos at the club.Obviously they aren’t enough to support my arguement.It’s ok.Just one thing.Just because i am outspoken on this sybject,that doesn’t mean that i am a know it all.You don’t know that until you’ve met me.And i never said you called me an idiot either.I only said that it’s not bad once in a while to question the manager’s judgment to which you obviously took exception.Sorry if it upsets you.It is what it is.

  35. bossdem says:

    scott- u know very well that this article is critical of phelan and saf! if it isnt, then who is it criticising?
    maybe ive missed the point of this article and you were actually praising them both? then again pigs might fly. saying the guy isnt a tactical wizard is a tongue in cheek criticism. deny it if u like but you cant hide urtrue feelings from me from behind ur carefully constructed article! you knew wht u were writing when u did it and im pretty sure u knew that people would get on the phelan bashing after digesting it. no doubt uv had this debate prior to bringing it up on here.
    unfortunately some blogs do make me feel bitter. i admit it unlike urself. it makes me a little bitter that fans like urself think you know better than the boss on subjects like these where u really have no idea of the details of the credentials needed to take over this group of players. theres nobody has the access to the information required to make such a decision other than saf himself.
    thanks for reminding me of the option of not reading ur blogs, a little childish perhaps, but thanks anyway.

  36. Scott the Red says:

    Bossdem – who is it criticising? Er, nobody. It’s highlighting my opinion that Mancini would have been a great replacement for CQ.

    So, you would say Phelan IS a tactical wizard? Is that the opinion I have to have if I’m not being critical of him? That he’s shit hott with tactics? Is that what you think?

    Mike Phelan comes across as a good lad, shorts and all. He’s been with the club for donkeys and knows how things should work behind the scenes. I assume he has a good relationship with the players and is clearly a man who Sir Alex Ferguson trusts.

    I’m not slagging Phelan off or saying he’s doing a bad job because truth be told, we have no idea what kind of job he’s doing. I imagine he’s carrying on in the way he was before, United through and through, great in training, good for a laugh, helpful with the league, but will offer us little on the continent. Is Phelan going to be able to mastermind results against the likes of Barcelona? I won’t hold my breath.

    The fact that I don’t think Phelan is the perfect replacement for CQ does not mean I’m being bitter or criticising him. The fact that United tried to get Mancini before appointing Phelan suggests that the club agree there were better people for the job. Phelan has strengths but he also has weaknesses. I’m not entirely sure why you are so offended that I would mention both. If your definition of “fan” is thinking everything and everyone connected with the club is perfect and have NO negatives, then that is your choice. You are being very precious though.

  37. bossdem says:

    scott- i cant be arsed trying to convince u of something that i know, u know already. its clear from ur article u dont rate, or never have rated phelan. ok, u have not directly criticised him, but you may have well done for what this article has achieved. at this point in his job as assistant , how u can claim to know how tactically good or bad is beyond me. i heard the same dross when cq 1st took the job. now he gets all the credit for our achievements now hes gone! amazingly fickle, all things considered.
    by highlighting ur opinion that mancini would have been a better appointment, for me is just as good as criticising saf and phelan directly. if i were to say now that joe bloggs would have been a better appointment than saf years ago, that would be as good as criticising saf would it not?
    as for u not being sure why i found this article offensive, (i,d say irritating rather than offensive) well, i just thought u were better than a muck spreader. this is the stuff normally found in the sun and the star.
    you have every right to write such stuff just as i have to say what i think of it.

  38. Scott the Red says:

    Bossdem – like I said in the article, we don’t know of the things Phelan contributes to the team. All my praise of him is based on my ideas, not what we know as fact. All I was saying is that I wanted someone who had one foot in European football to replace CQ, as that is what CQ’s biggest strength was and it served us well.

    We won the title in CQ’s first season at the club after going a year without, so I dunno who was criticising him when he first took the job.

    The fact the CLUB wanted Mancini over Phelan, given the fact they approached him, kindof vindicates my point of view, don’t you think? If United thought Phelan was perfect for the job, why did they go looking for anyone else? If United thought Phelan had everything required to replace CQ, then why ask Mancini if he fancied it? I think Phelan has strengths and weaknesses which I stated in the article. I’m not sure why you’re still so blinded about the positive things I had to say about him.

    I agree with the club on this one though, not you.

  39. costas says:

    No one is giving Carlos all the credit bossdem.Your joe bloggs example doesn’t work because SAF has proved his worth for United a long long time ago.Scott has mentioned some aspects of CQ’s job that make him better than Phelan.I have also mentioned some.In your view,how is Phelan better off than Quieroz?Or just as good for that matter.

  40. bossdem says:

    costas- i never said that mp was anything. good or bad so im not going to try and convince you that mp is a better assistant than cq as im not convinced myself. the man has prob only just settled in to the role so im not gonna be silly enough to try and sound like i know how well hes doing.
    i just dont like the fact that people seem to want to make a thing of mp as assistant. its been quiet on that front whilst weve broke records over the last few months, and now we have a self inflicted wobble and…….
    anyway, i think were all clear where we stand on this issue!

  41. costas says:

    Of course we are.The run was fantastic.Everyone was responsible for that great run,just like everyone was responsible for the wobble.Personally i haven’t talked a lot about the Phelan issue,until this moment.I have had my issues with it but i didn’t want to talk because i felt that it would end up just like it did today.And to be clear with you,my thinking has more to do with track records rather than anything else.I couldn’t possibly know what goes on at Carrington each day.But it’s not only about negatives.Without Quieroz this year we have been more adventurous in the big games.Of course that hasn’t produced the best of results but it was nice to go to the San Siro and play Inter like that.

  42. Scott the Red says:

    Bossdem – why didn’t you answer any of my questions? They were simple enough.

  43. bossdem says:

    scott- i think were all pretty clear what our feelings and opinions are on this. i didnt feel ur questions were worthy of any answers and the debate was getting a bit petty, but seen as u insist!
    ur first q. why did the club want mancini over phelan?
    well, im sorry, but i cannot answer this question for u. maybe u should forward it to the club. or maybe even the agent who came out with this statement. maybe we werent even after him. wont be the first agent to have told a lie would it?!
    the only other question i can see in ur last post was that u werent sure why i was so blinded to the praise youve given mp in ur article.
    well, if that article was an appraisal, i really wouldnt want to hear u have a go at the guy. its clear from ur piece u dont like him. if thats a positive article, im a scouser, or maybe you are.

  44. Scott the Red says:

    Bossdem – Like I said, I pointed out his positives and his negatives. You have a big problem with that, for whatever reason. Still, it seems like you are blinded to any of the positives I’ve said and only want to read the negatives, that’s up to you. Don’t imply that I might be a scouser just because I can see the negatives AND positives of our staff though.

    Like I say, I’m with the club on this one. They wanted a number 2 with European experience, which is why they went for Mancini. I think we would be better equipped in the CL if we had a number 2 with European experience. That doesn’t mean I don’t like Phelan though.

    I find it incredibly odd that you’ve reacted in such a way to a fairly tame piece of writing. It wouldn’t do our fans any harm to unwrap themselves from cotton wool!

  45. bossdem says:

    move on scott! u said in ur ‘piece’ that u had no idea what kind of job phelan is doing. so how on earth can u write an article on his suitability at this point in time?

  46. Scott the Red says:

    Bossde – I know he has no experience of European football. I wanted us to have a number two with good knowledge of football outside of this country, like CQ. Simple enough concept.

  47. bossdem says:

    scot- mp has played for england and won a european trophy with us.

  48. Scott the Red says:

    Bossdem – Since when has playing in European competitions been the same as having experience of European football? Coaching? Tactics? Transfer targets? That’s what CQ brought to the table and Mancini would have done the same. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to work out Phelan doesn’t have a great depth of knowledge in these things.

  49. suhayl says:

    Lets get it clear…Mickey phelan is a yes man…..if he was so fuckin great..he would have gone on to manage teams…even teams in the lower leagues. The guy aint wanted elsewhere and neither does he want to. He knows his feet are warm under the table at ours.

    Face the facts…and i saw him play live for us. He was a shite player…and is at best a yes man coach…SAf tells him to do things and he just follows orders.

    CQ may have fucked up at present. but the guy had balls and was WANTED by world teams..south africa, kuwait, portugese u21…where HE yes HE brought through the golden generation of figo, costa, sousa etc etc etc. And he was in demand again when the latest jobs came up. Can you say that for mickey P????? Wanted by a national team????…i wouldnt want him for my indoor league.


    Like Scott said….CQ is lightyears ahead of MP in terms of tactics, knowledge of european football, technical stuff, coaching etc.

    Why then did Saf nearly beg CQ to stay? Why did Saf say we tried in vain to keep him. Why did he say it was such a sad massive loss? Why did he then say when CQ left that the hole would be big to replace and that he left behind a legacy and training sets and regimes and implemented new methods that the coaches would now follow. WHY???????

    MP a pioneer???????? the guy couldnt manage barnet.

    FACTS are SAF wanted another man..he went for other men. But with the season fast upon us and no time to start hunting for new reps…which would take time to get find and settle. And the dodgy start to our season..he went and promoted and took the easy option. HOWEVER that was with kid gloves.

    Cos many players this season have said..that SAF is more hands with coaching this season than in the past 6. WHY??????

    Cos he doesnt soley trust MP. With CQ he left him to it. And CQ wasnt a yes man listenting to everything SAF said……SAF can be wrong too…yes he can and thats where CQ had the balls to debate or discuss atleast with SAF. MP do that???? The guys a fuckin tea maker.

    Im still fuming he’s our assistant.


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