Mike Phelan

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Mike Phelan named Man United assistant manager

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The worst kept secret in soccer is out. Mike Phelan has been named as Manchester United’s assistant manager on a three-year deal.

Phelan, 56, has been Ole Gunnar Solskjaer‘s assistant since December when the pair were placed in caretaker charge following Jose Mourinho’s firing.

With Solskjaer appointed as the new head coach on a permanent basis last month following a stunning start to life as a caretaker boss, Phelan has had to wait but his place alongside Solskjaer has now been confirmed.

A long-time assistant under Sir Alex Ferguson, Phelan held that role as Fergie’s assistant from 2008-13 and was first team coach from 2001 before that. Since leaving United in 2013 he coached at Hull City in the PL and was a sporting director for the Central Coast Mariners in Australia’s A-League.

 

“I am thrilled to be back as assistant manager. Manchester United has been a huge part of my life since I joined as a player in 1989 and I am delighted to be able to continue that relationship in this key role,” Phelan said. “Since returning in December, I have enjoyed working with Ole, Michael, Kieran, Mark and Emilio and we are all focused on preparing for the new season.”

Many believe that Phelan’s wealth of knowledge in training and on all things United helped Solskjaer slot into the role seamlessly during his incredible first few months in charge.

Speaking about the appointment, Solskjaer added that Phelan is a “great person to have around” and “brings a wealth of experience to this role with a long established connection to the club.”

A daunting task of turning United into perennial title challengers awaits Phelan and Solskjaer, and if they are successful it will hinge on who Executive vice-chairman Ed Woodward hires as the sporting director in the coming months.

United are currently approaching multiple candidates for the position, and both Phelan and Solskjaer will work closely with them to buy players and create a new identity for the Red Devils after the disappointment of finishing outside of the top four this season.

There’s no doubt that Phelan and Ole will have Fergie close by to run a few ideas past.

Hull City cuts ties with manager Mike Phelan

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Hull City has parted ways with manager Mike Phelan.

The Tigers cut ties with Phelan, who was caretaker boss after Steve Bruce quit in July and then hired full-time in mid-October.

[ MORE: Giroud leads Arsenal comeback ]

Phelan, 54, finished 6W-5D-13L as Hull boss. He was assistant to Bruce as the club gained promotion last season.

It’s an odd move, especially given how long Hull waited to make Phelan’s appointment permanent. Like Bob Bradley at Swansea, Phelan was not given resources or a transfer window to fix the club. Who’s in line to take the job now?

There wasn’t much of a statement:

We would like to thank Mike for his efforts both as Assistant Manager and Head Coach over the last two years.
The search for a replacement has begun and an announcement will be made in due course.

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Premier League Preview: Hull City vs. Manchester City

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  • Citizens sit seven points off top of PL
  • Sergio Aguero is fourth in PL in goals (10)
  • Hull winless in last six matches

Hull City will look to get out from the bottom of the Premier League on Monday when the Tigers host Pep Guardiola and Manchester City at 12:15 p.m. ET (Watch on NBCSN, or on NBCSports.com).

The Tigers have gone winless in six straight matches in the PL, making a victory crucial at the KCOM Stadium against the Citizens.

[ MORE: Mourinho accuses PL of holiday fixture conspiracy ]

Life at the bottom isn’t easy, and Mike Phelan‘s side has learned that very quickly after its hot start to open the PL calendar. The Tigers have conceded the most goals in England’s top flight (38), while only finding the back of the net 14 times in 17 matches.

Meanwhile, City has title aspirations under first-year manager Pep Guardiola despite a rough spell of injuries the club has been forced to battle. Ilkay Gundogan will continue to miss time, while Vincent Kompany and Pablo Zabaleta are among the other absentees for the Manchester club.

Luckily for Guardiola, City boasts one of the PL’s top attacks, with Sergio Aguero, Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling in the mix.

What they’re saying

Guardiola on Boxing Day tradition“I spoke to David Silva, with some players, and they gave me good advice about what it means to play on Boxing Day at Hull City. What I learn in my short time here is the gap between the first ten teams and last ten is not that big. Other people said before I came here how complicated all the games are, so I am not expecting easy games.”

Mike Phelan on extending several players’ contracts ahead of Boxing Day“What we’ve done with not just Robert, with a few of the players here, we’ve exercised the options that are in their contracts. We are ongoing in negotiations with those players and at this moment in time all those players are registered with this football club. That we hope to change. We hope to get them on the deals they deserve and we’ll keep working on it.”

Prediction

The Tigers have fallen far from where they were at the beginning of the season, and their test on Monday doesn’t bode well for Mike Phelan’s side. City has battled its share of injuries but they still boast the far superior side and need the victory to stay in the title race as the new year approaches. Hull City 1-3 Manchester City

After latest loss, Hull City gets blunt: “We need help”

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Hull City players and staff are not being bashful.

Mired in the drop zone and following yet another loss, this one a relegation six-pointer at the hands of hosts Middlesbrough, Tigers were speaking out on the talent at the KC Stadium.

[ MORE: Match recap ]

Manager Mike Phelan said “hopefully” there will be action by the club in the January transfer window, as the club continues its quest to stay in the Premier League.

Phelan said the club is lacking “firepower”, and veteran defender Charlie Davies put it even more plainly.

From the BBC:

“We need help. We made signings in the summer and they have done their bit but they were all last-minute. We are thin up top and we need someone who can put the ball in the net.”

Hull went through a mess during the summer, with player acquisition problematic and manager Steve Bruce quitting the club. After a hot start led to Phelan getting the job on a permament basis it’s clear that, like Swansea boss Bob Bradley, this isn’t about who’s in the dugout.

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Phelan: Hull must “grow up” following embarrassing defeat

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Fortunes have surely changed for Hull City since the club’s opening day victory against reigning champions Leicester City.

[ MORE: Chelsea, Bournemouth win big on Matchday 8 ]

Saturday’s 6-1 defeat at the hands of Bournemouth marked the latest setback for Hull and manager Mike Phelan, and now the club’s permanent boss says it’s time for his side to “grow up.”

Phelan via BBC Sport:

“I feel very embarrassed. I’ve got a team here who show what they can do when they want to,” Phelan said following Saturday’s blowout defeat. “We’ve got to grow up. Unless we concentrate and be disciplined, we won’t get to where we want. What we’ve done is not good enough.

“I thought we were victims of our own downfall in some respects. We’re conceding far too many and I’ll take responsibility for that. We tried to be proactive, we tried to be on the front foot, we probably overexposed ourselves a little bit, and that’s down to the planning issue. I will look at myself, players will look at themselves and we start again. We’ll learn, but we have to learn quickly.”

Since the team’s win over Leicester on opening weekend and Hull’s subsequent victory against Swansea City the Tigers have gone winless in six consecutive Premier League matches.

Hull currently sits 16th in the table, just one point above the relegation zone.