Manchester United interim manager Ralf Rangnick wanted assistant coaches Michael Carrick and Kieran McKenna to stay at the club following the dismissal of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
Fans began turning on Carrick and McKenna as much as Solskjaer when poor results continued in the Norwegian’s final few weeks in charge. Both have since left Old Trafford of their own volition, with Carrick taking a break to spend time with his family and McKenna appointed Ipswich manager.
Martyn Pert, who has joined McKenna at Ipswich as assistant manager, has also left United, meaning that of Solskjaer’s core coaching team only Mike Phelan now remains.
Even though some supporters on social media have expressed delight at the apparent clearing of the decks, The Athletic has reported that it was not United’s plan for it to happen this way.
Rangnick has brought assistant coach Chris Armas and psychologist Sascha Lense to Manchester, but it is said that he made clear from the start that he was prepared to work within existing frameworks.
The revered German wanted Carrick and McKenna to stay as it was seen that, mid-season, it would be less complicated than trying to hire a whole new coaching team with potentially challenging visa and work permit applications. Carrick and McKenna also knew the players, had their trust and knew the club, which wouldn’t be the case for anyone new.
It is said that 35-year-old McKenna in particular had impressed Rangnick, just as he had made a positive impression upon Jose Mourinho and Solskjaer before. Having opted to take a chance on himself, he will now gain invaluable experience in his first senior managerial gig.
The Athletic adds that McKenna, once in the youth setup at Tottenham before a hip injury ended his own playing career prematurely, was noted for his ability as a developmental coach and was a driver behind the increasing use of technology at United.