Rene Meulensteen: How Coach's Exit Affects Manchester United

Max TowleAnalyst IJune 28, 2013

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 05:  Sir Alex Ferguson the manager of Manchester United looks on with Rene Meulensteen (c) and Mike Phelan his assistant (l) during a Manchester United training session ahead of the UEFA Champions League quarter-final first leg match between Chelsea and Manchester United at Carrington Training Ground on April 5, 2011 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

David Moyes has not officially taken charge of Manchester United yet, but cracks have already begun to show in the new regime.

The exit of Sir Alex Ferguson's right-hand man, Mike Phelan, in May was met with a muted reaction.

Though Phelan was a loyal United servant, he seemed to lack the tactical nous to make a significant impact behind the scenes.

But the departures of goalkeeping coach Eric Steele, chief scout Martin Ferguson and first-team coach Rene Meulensteen are worrying signs for fans of the Red Devils.

One can understand Moyes wanting to distance himself from the old order. He will want success on his terms and his terms only.

It is a tough decision, and he must be commended for his courage, but that does not necessarily make it the right one.

This article will analyse the brutal culling of the former dynasty and where it leaves Manchester United going forward.


The Past

Breaking all ties with the past can be a sobering thing. Especially considering the success the club has achieved under these men.

Meulensteen especially; his sacking seems wholly unnecessary and potentially critical.

This was a man with an immense understanding of Manchester United. A man who had risen up the ranks at the club, earning the respect of Sir Alex.

He had worked wonders at the academy with the youth teams. His reserves team won the treble in his first season in charge.

As first-team coach, he was delegated with running day-to-day training with Phelan. He is familiar with the players and they trust and respect him.

There will inevitably be personality clashes next season. In a tense moment, the players won't react as well in the face of strangers barking orders at them.

There must be a link between the new and the old.

Granted, these players are professionals, but they are still human.

Moyes must understand that respect is not endowed, it is earned. There must be continuity to create stability, the key factor behind United's glory the past two decades.

The Red Devils have come off this past season with a real momentum. Why jeopardize it?


The Future

According to a recent report in The Telegraph, Moyes' former assistant manager at Everton, Steve Round, will soon resume duties as the Scotsman's No. 2.

The first question that needs asking is: Who is Steve Round?

The 42-year-old has formerly worked under Steve McLaren, Gareth Southgate and Sam Allardyce at Derby County, Middlesbrough and Newcastle United respectively.

Like Moyes, he has no experience working at a title-challenging club. But he is considered a talented young coach.

It is rumoured that former Red Phil Neville will also linkup with Moyes at Old Trafford according to The Independent.

This would help in terms of stability, though it would be even better if Ryan Giggs and Paul Scholes were to join the party.

Moyes needs Manchester United men on the bench, assistants with an intimate knowledge of the club and its expectations.

Someone like Giggs is already a highly-respected figure at Old Trafford. The players listen to him and would trust his judgments.

This is not to suggest that Moyes will face an internal revolt when he officially takes charge next month, rather that he should expect to have to fight to win the loyalties of his squad.

He will need people he can trust on his side, but for the sake of unity, so will the players.


What do you make of Rene Meulensteen's departure? How will it affect the Red Devils?


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