By 90Min
March 28, 2019

Manchester United have appointed Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as permanent manager on a three-year contract as the club looks to finally return to the pinnacle of English and European football.

But the Norwegian isn't alone in his efforts and is backed at Old Trafford by an experienced and knowledgeable coaching staff.

Here's a look at who each member is and what they have done in their careers...


Mike Phelan

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Formerly first team coach and later assistant manager at United for 12 years under Sir Alex Ferguson, Mike Phelan made his return to Old Trafford when Solskjaer was appointed caretaker boss back in December.

It was a welcome move, with Phelan a vital presence during arguably the most successful period in the club's history in the late 2000s and early 2010s. His departure in 2013 is certainly still a factor many point to in the failed transition from Ferguson to David Moyes.

Phelan was himself a former United player in the early 1990s, knows Solskjaer very well and has the invaluable experience to help the Norwegian grow in his role as permanent boss.

Between 2013 and his return last December, Phelan had spells at Norwich and Hull, while he was appointed sporting director at Australian club Central Coast Mariners last summer. It is a role he said just this week he would like to try and continue doing alongside his job at United.


Michael Carrick

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Michael Carrick hung up his boots after 12 years as a United player at the end of last season and made the immediate step into coaching to join Jose Mourinho's backroom staff.

With ties to United rather than Mourinho, Carrick was retained when the Portuguese was sacked in December and has continued to develop as a coach in recent months.

The 37-year-old former club captain is popular with the players and that strong rapport allows him to pass on advice and years of experience.

"I think Michael now is progressing really well. He's finding his feet in the organisational side of it, and he's got a great opinion on the game and has been an exceptional player," Phelan said of Carrick in a ManUtd.com article in January.


Kieran McKenna

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A coaching reshuffle following the departure of Mourinho's long-term assistant and ally Rui Faria last summer saw the promotion of Kieran McKenna to the first team coaching staff after previously leading the club's Under-18 team.

The Northern Irish coach joined United from Tottenham, where he held a similar youth team role, in 2016 and has overseen the development of talents like Angel Gomes, Tahith Chong, James Garner and Mason Greenwood, all of whom have been seen in the first team under Solskjaer.

At just 32 years of age, McKenna is the youngest member of the main coaching staff, but he still boasts plenty of experience after learning his trade at Spurs and is very highly rated.


Mark Dempsey

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A long time ally and assistant to the Solskjaer, Mark Dempsey was brought in as an extra first team coach just a few days after the Norwegian was appointed caretaker manager.

Manchester-born Dempsey was a former United trainee, playing once for the first team in 1985, and coached in the academy, where it seems he first crossed paths with Solskjaer.

He later embarked on a coaching career in Norway in 2009 and soon linked up with Solskjaer as an assistant at Molde in time for the 2011 Norwegian season. After two league titles and one domestic cup, Dempsey then followed Solskjaer to Cardiff in 2014.

He set out on his own and managed several clubs in Norway and Sweden, either side of a short second spell back with Solskjaer at Molde, before getting the United call in December.


Emilio Alvarez

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United hired Emilio Alvarez in the summer of 2016 as goalkeeping coach, with the Spaniard specifically appointed as a result of his longstanding relationship with David de Gea.

After seeing his own playing career cut short aged 30, Alvarez is credited with developing a young De Gea at Atletico Madrid in 2009 as the stopper took his first steps at first team level.

He is also known to be close friends with De Gea off the pitch and is also said to regularly socialise with fellow Spaniards Juan Mata and Ander Herrera as well.

A Manchester Evening News report notes that the four are 'committed students of the game' and share common interests, including each supporting a different club in the Spanish second tier.

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