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Two Former Manchester United Coaches are Making Waves in the EFL



Two Former Manchester United Coaches are Making Waves in the EFL

Two former members of the Manchester United coaching staff under Jose Mourinho and Ole Gunnar Solskjær are making names for themselves after taking the reins of clubs in the English Football League (EFL). Michael Carrick and Kieran McKenna are experiencing fruitful debut seasons as managers of Middlesbrough and Ipswich Town respectively. Middlesbrough have inched their way into automatic promotion contention in the second tier. They are 4/1 outsiders to clinch a top-two finish with bet365, with United priced at around 1/6. The Stoke-on-Trent-based operator sponsors Championship side Stoke City and has a strong handle on the EFL markets, in particular the Championship. It’s also regarded by oddschecker as a leading site based on the strength of its welcome promotions.

Carrick was appointed as head coach of Middlesbrough in October 2022, with the Teesside club sitting in 21st place in the EFL Championship. Carrick, one of the most decorated English midfielders of the modern era, has had a seismic impact on this Middlesbrough side. Having picked up just 17 points from their opening 16 Championship games, Boro now have 60 points from 35 games and sit in third place, just seven points behind second-placed Sheffield United.


Carrick’s Boro are a joy to watch

There is a sense that it might be too tall an order for Carrick and Middlesbrough to pip United to the second automatic promotion spot. Nevertheless, Carrick has made Boro an entertaining side to watch, becoming the league’s second top scorers. There is genuine fluidity about the way Middlesbrough attack under Carrick, with the front four given license to roam. However, it is United’s miserly defence that could prove the difference in the final third of the season.

One league below, Kieran McKenna is also cutting his teeth as the manager of Ipswich Town. The Tractor Boys are in their fourth season in the third tier since relegation from the Championship and the Suffolk side look to have their best possible chance of returning to the second tier this term. After 35 games, Ipswich sit with 69 points, just one less than their best points tally since being relegated into League One.


McKenna also has strong principles about the way the game is played

Like Carrick, McKenna has also adopted a fluid system which fluctuates between a 4-2-3-1 and a 3-4-2-1 on occasion. It leans heavily on attack-minded full backs and a centre forward that can link play and bring the two number tens into the game.

The issue Ipswich have is they are one of three teams enjoying magnificent League One seasons. Sheffield Wednesday and Plymouth are both averaging more than two points per game, with Ipswich’s wobble over the festive season putting them in danger of having to battle through the postseason playoffs for promotion.

McKenna has several other Manchester United connections on his backroom staff. Former third-choice keeper Lee Grant is the club’s first team coach. McKenna’s right-hand man, Martyn Pert, also joined him from the Old Trafford coaching staff.

It’s clear that elite level of professionalism is helping to drive standards both at the Riverside Stadium and Portman Road.


We hope you enjoyed the article “Two Former Manchester United Coaches are Making Waves in the EFL.” Do you think either team will see promotion this season? Let us know!


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Jacob graduated with a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Reading. An avid footballer, he spent time under the FAW academy programme as well as Cardiff Corinthians. Later going on to play for his university and Wellington United whilst residing in New Zealand. He currently resides in Frome, Somerset. You can contact him at [email protected]


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