Manchester United assistant manager, and the right-hand man of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Mike Phelan, has today put pen to paper on fresh terms with the club.
The opening months of the campaign have of course proven far from straightforward at Old Trafford.
Despite the high-profile summer arrivals of all of Raphael Varane, Jadon Sancho and Cristiano Ronaldo, the Red Devils have continued to act as a source of frustration for the club’s loyal fanbase.
This comes with explosive displays, during which United finally look a cohesive unit capable of carving open any opposing backline, too often followed by flat, abject, and frankly disjointed 90 minute showings.
The club’s defensive record is also becoming an increasing concern, with Solskjaer and co., on the back of a 1-1 stalemate with Everton at the weekend, having now failed to keep a clean sheet in any of their last nine league outings at the Theatre of Dreams:
9 – Manchester United have conceded at least once in each of their last nine league matches at Old Trafford, their longest run of games without a clean sheet at home in the top-flight since February 1971 (10 games). Countered. pic.twitter.com/xjpQ1Sc0Hm
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 2, 2021
Such hit-and-miss form, in turn, has seen Man United slip off the pace at the Premier League’s summit, eliminated from the League Cup at the hands of West Ham, and put to the sword in shock fashion by Swiss outfit Young Boys in the Champions League.
Solskjaer vote of confidence?
With an unquestionably talented crop of players at his disposal, the pressure, in turn, has begun to mount on the shoulders of the aforementioned Solskjaer once more.
Many of a Reds persuasion have long made their minds up that the Norwegian is not the right man to lead them forward into a prosperous new era, amid calls for the likes of Erik ten Hag and Antonio Conte to be targeted.
As outlined above, though, the latest actions on the part of the Old Trafford hierarchy would certainly appear to suggest that they are not planning any major changes any time soon.
This comes with Mike Phelan, Solskjaer’s assistant manager, having today been awarded a new contract.
The deal, widely reported in the media on Monday evening, is expected to see Phelan remain in his role through to the summer of 2024.
Many, meanwhile, have been quick to suggest that United’s decision to reiterate their faith in the club’s 2nd in command should also be viewed as a clear-cut show of support for Solskjaer, despite the mounting calls for his head.
This comes with Phelan’s terms now lining up perfectly with those of the ex-Red Devils hitman:
EXCLUSIVE: Assistant Manager Mike Phelan has signed a contract extension at Manchester United – in what could be viewed as the club’s latest show of support for Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Understand contract expires 2024 – same as manager. More @MailSport shortly.
— Mike Keegan (@MikeKeegan_DM) October 4, 2021
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