Date: 21st January 2010 at 1:21pm
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mike-phelan_1208475cMike Phelan always had massive boots to fill when he was taking over from as assistant manager.

Queiroz was always a more glamorous option being that he was foreign and the stars he had worked with and helped develop. He was at the helm of Portugal’s golden generation which included the likes of and Rui Costa and although his spell was unsuccessful, he was also in charge of the Galacticos of Real Madrid.

He has been credited with helping Ronaldo settle at the club and develop into the world beater that he is today as well as the purchases of and Anderson (well you could hold those against him), so what could Mike Phelan possibly offer as a replacement?

Phelan has had a near 20 year association with the club and when appointed by at the start of last season we were told he knows the club ‘like the back of his hand’ so his 11 years of coaching experience at holds him in good stead when it comes to dealing with the players. He also worked under assistant managers like and so their expertise may have rubbed off on him but is that really enough?

I don’t need to tell you that football has become a global game and the more languages a coach can speak the more of an asset he is. Queiroz is well travelled as well as bi-lingual and thus able to communicate with a number of players, relaying Fergie’s orders in a way that Fergie can’t (many foreign players do complain they don’t fully understand Fergie’s thick Scottish accent) Phelan on the other hand has only worked in England at lower level clubs and is only fluent in English.

Another advantage to Fergie whilst working with Queiroz is that he added to the prestige that already surrounded the club through his past achievements, something that Phelan can’t boast of.

This is not to discredit Phelan who has been more than capable in his position. Before Queiroz came along we had Kidd and McClaren who didn’t boast the same pedigree but still helped United to remain successful and nothing is to say Phelan can’t help carry this on as with him we have already won the Premier League and reached the final but like I said previously would be a tough act to follow for many coaches.

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