Mike Phelan is staying at Manchester United despite the departures of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Michael Carrick.
United have added Chris Armas to the coaching staff, and he is expected to assist Rangnick in preparing training sessions along with Kieran McKenna. The American previously worked at New York Red Bulls and Toronto FC, so it will be interesting to see how he gets on – back in a coaching capacity – working in the Premier League under Rangnick.
The interim boss also clarified that Armas was not a replacement for Phelan, who didn’t observe training sessions under Solskjaer.
Like McKenna, the 59-year-old has come under pressure to walk away from his job after spending almost three years as a member of Solskjaer’s coaching staff, but he will remain with Rangnick’s blessing.
“Since Michael Carrick is no longer on board we needed somebody else to replace him, so Chris Armas is one of two assistant coaches now with Kieran,” Rangnick told reporters, as quoted by the Manchester Evening News. “So I have the two of them who help me to prepare training sessions, to discuss video footage together with [analyst] Paul Brand.
“Mike Phelan is not watching the training sessions – he also didn’t do that when Ole was in charge – but he’s also part of the training group of the staff.
“But he is never on the pitch when we train. He’s not out there and he didn’t do that when Ole was in charge. Chris will not replace Mike but much rather Michael Carrick.”
Although none of us see what goes on behind the scenes, Phelan’s influence on the team was under increasing scrutiny before Solskjaer was sacked. It will be intriguing to see if he moves on at the end of the season.
I’m sure he will be of benefit to Rangnick as an introduction to managing in the Premier League.