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Kieran McKenna | Ipswich manager

DWelbz19

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Ipswich could potentially be one of those types of teams if he stays though. They've secured a large investment last week and have a very good structure in place from what I've been told by my Ipswich mates. The fans adore him and I think he has everything there to make it a success. They say he's done wonders on a small budget but they say the monies there to be spent if he needs it. I would be surprised if he leaves
Unless they massively invest in the side they’re almost certainly going straight back down. He’s doing a phenomenal job but that side is not PL quality
 

Munkehboi

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Unless they massively invest in the side they’re almost certainly going straight back down. He’s doing a phenomenal job but that side is not PL quality
Until recently, some people were saying the squad was still Leauge One quality. I think he has the ability to coach the best out of players, hence why he was poached by us on the back of a glowing reputation. There's some gems in that squad, Chaplin, Davis, Morsey. He's done very well in the loan market too. Hutchinson is a real talent as is Sacriemento and both are ones to watch for the future.

I do agree that the step up maybe too much for some of the other players though.
 

Tom Van Persie

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Sorry but people can't laugh at the idea of Potter or Southgate getting the job, but then advocate hiring a championship manager.
Southgate failed miserably at club level. I can already tell you that McKenna is a far more talented coach. How many times have you seen a newly promoted side in the Championship perform at the levels Ipswich have been performing at? They are battling it out at the top of the table alongside three sides that were in the PL last season.
 

VP89

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Has that been confirmed? Either way I could see McKenna thinking about an offer from them. Seems like a good stepping stone.
All but confirmed (regarding Liverpool not being in for him) by Ornstein.
 

CM

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The player revolt dynamic is not significant to me, his talent as a coach and in the way we like our football is beyond doubt imo. What's needed is to know whether he has the grit to stay true to his beliefs under pressure, the mental strength to maintain a clear head during a rough patch and the steely required to put rebels in their place. That's for Ashworth, Brailsford and maybe Wilcox to judge.

We have had managers who have achieved great things before come here and fail. Others have been shocked by the enormity of the task and probably underestimated it. He knows where we are right now because that's where we were when he left. Now with an improved structure the demands on him will be reduced so he can focus on one thing, the team.

He is also way more experienced than Arteta, Pep and Zidane were when they started. His talent is beyond doubt and we are seeing Arsenal reaping the rewards for standing by a young, talented manager. I believe he can be that especially if we, as fans, give him the support and tone down on expectations.
Agreed on this part, these should be the most important factors in deciding the next manager. That said, it might be difficult to give McKenna the time and patience he requires with the media circus that engulfs United if we don't get our processes right around him.

As long as we can see progress and a clear vision in what we're trying to do I'd happily take a less experienced coach though. I'm beyond fed up of watching us play every match with a gaping hole in our midfield. Any coach with a semblance of an idea represents an upgrade on what we have at the moment.
 

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For this win, the timing and the manner are simply emphatic! This will propel them all the way up and the luck will definitely go with them for the final touch. It won’t surprise me if they eventually win the championship title!
I have no problem if we ask him manage Manutd next season. He has been in the business so long!
 

In Rainbows

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Sorry but people can't laugh at the idea of Potter or Southgate getting the job, but then advocate hiring a championship manager.
Southgate? McKenna is more impressive than Southgate. His u21 England stint wasn't even all that impressive in terms of football. McKenna was always more highly rated.
 

Spark

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For me it’s a similar vibe to Sir Alex at Aberdeen. Young and heavy overachieving (SAF at Aberdeen was insane, McKenna no where it yet).

Will be interesting to see how Mckenna can manage a european cup comp at some point. Wonder if Brighton will take him post De Zerbi.
 

city-puma

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For me it’s a similar vibe to Sir Alex at Aberdeen. Young and heavy overachieving (SAF at Aberdeen was insane, McKenna no where it yet).

Will be interesting to see how Mckenna can manage a european cup comp at some point. Wonder if Brighton will take him post De Zerbi.
Well, it’s different era and different situations. Ipswich is competing against the three super overweights this season. The squads those three have are beyond their reach.
 

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Ipswich have conceded 51 goals this season, versus Leeds 31 in second place. Leicester in third place have 35.

Can he actually coach defence?
 

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Ultimately I believe wherever he goes and how successful he will be will depend on the footballing structure. He's not really an ex-player who was at the top level ala Zidane, Pep etc but instead he grew his reputation as being an immensely talented coach and sought after for his coaching and tactician knowledge.

Ipswich are true underdogs and we're lingering around the top half of Leauge One for a while before he came in. He's proved his coaching, man managment and tacticial skills at Ipswich thus far but I feel that having the other aspects of the managers role taken away from and focusing on being the head coach solely will be beneficial for him if he were to move to a bigger club.

TLTR; make him head coach under a DoF and have him focus purely on football for the first team and he will do wonders I'd say.
 

Bert_

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People were calling for his head as one of Ole's coaches not long ago. Turns out none of us actually know what value any of the coaching staff or backroom team bring to the table. Not playing well = everyone involved is bad at their job. No critical thinking need be applied. Toxic environment to work in.

Looks like he could be a top manager in the making. He'd be foolish (or have balls of steel) to jump straight into a club with high expectations in the PL. The second he gets a few bad results he'll be ridiculed as a Championship level charlatan and be hounded out.
 

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Why would he go to Ajax when he could potentially be in the EPL next season?
Ajax are a huge club, and Ipswich isn’t really (yes, I know their history). It’s probably is a far shorter route to a top PL club impressing as the Ajax manager than it is doing well by keeping a team in the PL. I don’t think a CL club would hire a manager who gets Ipswich to say 15th in the PL. It would be a respectable job, but would not be worth as much as an Eredevise win and strong CL/EL showing with Ajax.
 

stefan92

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Or 04 klopp at mainz. We're witnessing something special
There was not much special about Klopp at Mainz however? What did he do, he got them promoted in his third full season in the second Bundesliga, which was his worst in regard to points per game, but still luckily enough got them third place instead of fourth like they did the two seasons before. So I really don't get your comparison here.
 

CassiusClaymore

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Ipswich have conceded 51 goals this season, versus Leeds 31 in second place. Leicester in third place have 35.

Can he actually coach defence?
Ipswich play out from the back and whilst it's an admirable and attractive approach, there's been a lot of individual errors from the likes of Woolfenden when I've watched them recently. I reckon that will have massively influenced the goals conceded stat.
 

tomaldinho1

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Ajax are a huge club, and Ipswich isn’t really (yes, I know their history). It’s probably is a far shorter route to a top PL club impressing as the Ajax manager than it is doing well by keeping a team in the PL. I don’t think a CL club would hire a manager who gets Ipswich to say 15th in the PL. It would be a respectable job, but would not be worth as much as an Eredevise win and strong CL/EL showing with Ajax.
The flip side to this is I think we’re entering a new era of ‘head coaches’ where there will be a lot more young (and vastly cheaper) managers who are hands on and have the drive/energy to be on the grass every day. Concurrently we live in an era of ridiculous hype around everything so if McKenna gets them promoted (an undeniably excellent achievement) I can see CL clubs hiring him off the back of that. They will just think, ‘if it doesn’t work out, we’ll just sack him and hire whoever is flavour of the month at that time’. And in his mind I’m sure he backs himself enough to succeed.
 

Ole'sgunnarwin

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He's actually exactly what we don't need. He has Ten Hag and Solskjaer vibes. His team's rarely control matches, the amount of goals they concede and times they've relied on late winners.

We need a coach that can make us control matches. No more of these basketball matches please.
 

Rozay

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The flip side to this is I think we’re entering a new era of ‘head coaches’ where there will be a lot more young (and vastly cheaper) managers who are hands on and have the drive/energy to be on the grass every day. Concurrently we live in an era of ridiculous hype around everything so if McKenna gets them promoted (an undeniably excellent achievement) I can see CL clubs hiring him off the back of that. They will just think, ‘if it doesn’t work out, we’ll just sack him and hire whoever is flavour of the month at that time’. And in his mind I’m sure he backs himself enough to succeed.
I think there are levels really.

Those clubs don’t want to take gambles. It’s not about finance, there is simply a huge demand to win. There are ‘CL clubs’ and teams that want to become CL clubs. He could get a gig at the latter, like Howe and Ange have, or Emery - but a club whose success and failure is measured by trophies will almost certainly hire a successful Ajax manager over an Ipswich one.
 

tomaldinho1

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I think there are levels really.

Those clubs don’t want to take gambles. It’s not about finance, there is simply a huge demand to win. There are ‘CL clubs’ and teams that want to become CL clubs. He could get a gig at the latter, like Howe and Ange have, or Emery - but a club whose success and failure is measured by trophies will almost certainly hire a successful Ajax manager over an Ipswich one.
Not sure about that when Arteta is managing Arsenal, someone with literally zero first team managerial experience prior to that job. We hired Ole who had only Cardiff as top flight experience, Lampard at Chelsea had a season at Derby. I think owners are looking past the older big names now, I guess we’ll see how it shakes out.
 

Tom Van Persie

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Crap source but if we're really considering the likes of Southgate it's not unrealistic that we would consider McKenna who has already achieved more at club level than Southgate could dream of.

 

Stack

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Ajax are a huge club, and Ipswich isn’t really (yes, I know their history). It’s probably is a far shorter route to a top PL club impressing as the Ajax manager than it is doing well by keeping a team in the PL. I don’t think a CL club would hire a manager who gets Ipswich to say 15th in the PL. It would be a respectable job, but would not be worth as much as an Eredevise win and strong CL/EL showing with Ajax.
Ajax are a huge club in one of the second tier leagues. If Ipswich go up he gets to manage a team in one of the top 4 leagues in the world. Sorry I would rather coach Notts County in the EPL than Ajax in the dutch league. Its not even close. I would rather coach a team fighting in the relegation zone in the EPL than Ajax in the Dutch league.
 

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Ipswich play out from the back and whilst it's an admirable and attractive approach, there's been a lot of individual errors from the likes of Woolfenden when I've watched them recently. I reckon that will have massively influenced the goals conceded stat.
Yeah, I get the mistakes from the back, but that's 20 goals conceded more than the next in line. For contexts, a similar amount of goals conceded have teams that are 16, 18th and 19 places, like QPR, Stoke, and Millwall. That's worrisome. If they are making that many mistakes in the Championship, I fear for him in the PL.
 

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Ajax are a huge club in one of the second tier leagues. If Ipswich go up he gets to manage a team in one of the top 4 leagues in the world. Sorry I would rather coach Notts County in the EPL than Ajax in the dutch league. Its not even close. I would rather coach a team fighting in the relegation zone in the EPL than Ajax in the Dutch league.
But we are not talking about you. Of course you would. You are a fan of English football and any taste of the top flight would be enough to satisfy you as someone who is a million miles from that. McKenna literally rejected interest from Crystal Palace earlier in the season. He probably wants to go to the very top of the EPL, and the pedigree from potentially winning the Dutch league and winning big games in the CL will put him in the conversation for jobs like United, Bayern, Real and co more than just keeping Ipswich up will.
 

Munkehboi

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Yeah, I get the mistakes from the back, but that's 20 goals conceded more than the next in line. For contexts, a similar amount of goals conceded have teams that are 16, 18th and 19 places, like QPR, Stoke, and Millwall. That's worrisome. If they are making that many mistakes in the Championship, I fear for him in the PL.
You'd hope he may actually upgrade his defenders if they make it up. His current central defenders are League One standard still. Other Tzunabe (on a free) I don't think he actually purchased any CB after promotion.

Put into context, it's amazing he has got so many League One players top of the pile so far.
 

Stack

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But we are not talking about you. Of course you would. You are a fan of English football and any taste of the top flight would be enough to satisfy you as someone who is a million miles from that. McKenna literally rejected interest from Crystal Palace earlier in the season. He probably wants to go to the very top of the EPL, and the pedigree from potentially winning the Dutch league and winning big games in the CL will put him in the conversation for jobs like United, Bayern, Real and co more than just keeping Ipswich up will.
Well if you are talking about McKenna then think from his perspective. He will have taken a club from the Championship to the EPL. He has been coaching in the ENglish system for a number of years and for him the pinnacle is the EPL. He is well loved by the fans at Ipswich and he has built his team and worked with these players to get to the EPL. He rejected Crystal Palace for the reasons I just mentioned, he has a huge amount of goodwill at Ipswich and loves it there.
Sorry but going to Ajax would be a step backwards. As it is I would have McKenna over ETH any day, Ajax really hasnt turned him into a top coach, the guy is a clown.
 

GazTheLegend

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Well if you are talking about McKenna then think from his perspective. He will have taken a club from the league one to the EPL. He has been
Fixed that for you. It's an utter miracle if he achieves it, up there with Sir Alex's job at St Mirren. He's doing it with previously mid table league 1 level players.
 

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Yeah, I get the mistakes from the back, but that's 20 goals conceded more than the next in line. For contexts, a similar amount of goals conceded have teams that are 16, 18th and 19 places, like QPR, Stoke, and Millwall. That's worrisome. If they are making that many mistakes in the Championship, I fear for him in the PL.
Ipswich finished 2nd in League One last season and now they're top of the Championship with significantly inferior resources to their main rivals - I wouldn't be too bothered at all about the stats that they have posted in achieving that.
 

GazTheLegend

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People are complaining in the lower leagues how impossible it is to cope with relegated prem sides due to their parachute payments. The job McKenna has done is nothing short of miraculous and no matter what happens from here on in he has to be taken seriously, whether he stays or goes.
 

Tom Van Persie

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Yeah, I get the mistakes from the back, but that's 20 goals conceded more than the next in line. For contexts, a similar amount of goals conceded have teams that are 16, 18th and 19 places, like QPR, Stoke, and Millwall. That's worrisome. If they are making that many mistakes in the Championship, I fear for him in the PL.
Mate, have you seen their team? They've conceded the same amount of goals as Southampton have. They've scored the most goals in the league. They're clearly an attacking aggressive side and it's great to see a manager not sacrificing his style of play.
 

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I see a few of you quoted me. I forgot to add that I'm hoping that it's the quality of the personnel as to why they are conceding so many goals and not a system flaw. I do wish for him nothing but the best.
 

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I see a few of you quoted me. I forgot to add that I'm hoping that it's the quality of the personnel as to why they are conceding so many goals and not a system flaw. I do wish for him nothing but the best.
Only 6 teams have conceded less goals than them in the championship. They’ve also scored the most. Have the third best goal difference. And have lost the fewest amount of games. I’m all for stats to support an argument, but put those stats into context. You said that there are teams in 11th and 12th that have conceded similist amounts of goals as them, and while that’s true, those teams have also scored forty goals less. Forty. Context is important.

This isn’t to denigrate the point you were trying to make, because I believe it’s true that his side will find it a lot harder to score goals in the PL than the championship, but if they are leaky at the back, they could be in for a rough season. But that also assumes that he would continue to play the same way in the PL, and have the same personnel. All we can really do is look at the facts as they currently are. He’s taken them from 2nd in League One to top of the championship, on extremely limited resources. That is in of itself an incredible achievement. We are getting way ahead of ourselves to talk about PL performance next season. They may not even go up. A lot can change between then and now. Better to focus on what we know, rather than what we don’t.

For a manager to accomplish what he has, would suggest that he knows what he is doing. So if we are to make any assumption, it would be that he can probably see he may have to adapt a more pragmatic approach should Ipswich go up. But again, we are into the realm of speculation again - by my hand - and I don’t think that’s particularly helpful.

Like most on here, I am wishing him the best. I love seeing stories like this, and him being a United old boy, makes it all the sweeter. I have no idea if his style of play would be translatable to a big side in the PL, but if he keeps impressing the way he has, he might eventually put himself in a position where we can all find out. The odds are pretty heavily stacked against young English managers cutting their teeth in the lower divisions, ever making it to one of the big clubs; but we need more homegrown managerial talent, so this is good to see.

I tend to believe that the primary thing tripping up managers at big clubs, especially a club of United’s size, is the scale of the job and the scope of decision making and control. Theoretically speaking, the emergence of a clearer structure with well defined roles in Director of Football, Head of Recruitment, Technical Director, and a football experienced CEO, potentially opens the door to more head coaches than before. This is primarily because the scope of their remit is to coach the team, and not much else. They’ll have input on transfers, but no decision making responsibility, and the amount of support within the structure for players and developmental pathways, should hugely lighten the “managers” load. In fact, Ten Hag should, and I believe will, be the last of the “managers”. They’ll all be head coaches from now on. There to coach the team, while decision making on recruitment and style of play, remain constants from elsewhere in the structure.

As it should be in the modern age.
 
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ShinjiNinja26

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Crap source but if we're really considering the likes of Southgate it's not unrealistic that we would consider McKenna who has already achieved more at club level than Southgate could dream of.

This is the same source that’s claiming we’re now having serious doubts about hiring Ashworth because of the Tonali signing at Newcastle. Bullshit basically, I wouldn’t pay much attention to them.