Warren Joyce parted ways with Manchester United this week after 8 successful years in charge of the Reserve side, to take charge of the Wigan first team, his second stint as a first team manager after a short period as the boss of Royal Antwerp in Belgium. Joyce was admired at the club for his ability to transform individuals into a team collective with an emphasis on hard work.
Joyce also oversaw 25 players being developed from young footballers into full internationals. There will be more, too. Players he's set off in the right direction that are still a year or two away from being internationals. He stalked the touchline. Barking encuragement to his charges. The teams he created and the work ethic he instilled was masterful. This leaves a vacuum. Nicky Butt has taken over in the interim and is expected to be in charge of the U23 that lines up against Brentford tomorrow in a friendly game. Tommy Martin has filled in during training, but longer term, the huge job of being the man that puts the finishing touches on young professionals before they're let loose in the first team is one the club must think very carefully about.
There is a bit of talk around that United may look to appoint U16 coach Neil Ryan as the new U23 boss. Ryan has a deep connection with the club and some fans may recognise the surname. Ryan's father Jim (or Jimmy) Ryan actually held this exact position at the club from 1991 to 2000 (think who emerged from the youth ranks in that time). Jimmy also filled in as Sir Alex's assistant before being made Director of Youth at the club in 2002 and his eventual retirement in 2012.
I don't know much else about Neil's style of coaching or management but if he gets the job he's got his work cut out. The problems in the U23s, in relation to personnel are well documented. If he gets the nod, then I wish him good luck!