Eric Ramsay comes into Old Trafford as one of the most talented young coaches in the game
Set-piece specialism is an area you would expect to be one of Manchester United’s strengths. However, on the basis of last season, it was a weakness.
It’s perhaps why Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has addressed the issue with the appointment of coach Eric Ramsay.
29-year-old Ramsay has been tasked with the objective of rectifying United’s vulnerability at defending free-kicks and corners.
He spent two years in the under-23 set-up at Chelsea but is now part of Solskjaer’s management team.
Assistant Martyn Pert and goalkeeper coach Richard Hartis were the two who held the duties of cultivating United’s set-pieces last season, but the responsibility will now switch to Ramsay. Tom Green is the club’s dedicated set-piece analyst and will continue in the role.
Leeds United were the only side to concede more goals from set-pieces (15) than the 14 shipped by Solskjaer’s side last season. So, it was clear that this problem needed eradicating.
United have had a busy transfer window with the signings of Tom Heaton, Raphael Varane and Jadon Sancho, but arguably, Ramsay’s summer addition could prove to be the most significant piece of business.
Some people probably haven’t heard of him, but he comes to Old Trafford with a glowing reputation.
Born in Shrewsbury, Ramsay lived in the Montgomeryshire village of Llanfyllin, where he went to school.
Ramsay studied sport science at Loughborough University alongside United first-team coach Kieran McKenna from 2010 to 2013 and is currently undertaking a PhD there on elite youth development. It seems feasible to assume that McKenna could’ve been the one that recommended him to Solskjaer.
Beginning his coaching career at Swansea City, Ramsay rose in the ranks, beginning as an under-18s coach before being promoted to the under-21s. He received his final advancement at the club after taking up the role as lead under-18s coach for the Swans, before leaving the club.
He joined Shrewsbury’s academy in 2017, as manager, before occupying the role as first-team coach, then taking caretaker charge with Danny Coyne after the sacking of John Askey.
To excite United supporters even more, Ramsay was the youngest British coach to gain the top UEFA Pro Licence badge in 2019.
Eventually, after being promoted to working with the first team at Shrewsbury, he earned a move to Chelsea.
It was here where he began working with the Blues’ under-23 squad.
Regarded as one of the brightest young British coaches around, Ramsay brings a wealth of talent to the United set-up.
Also beneficial to United is that Ramsay is fluent in both French and Spanish. What this allows is better communication between the squad.
United have a lot of French and Spanish-speaking players, so for extra precision and clarity, Ramsay will be there to offer support.
What Solskjaer said about Ramsay
Upon his arrival to Manchester, Solskjaer was delighted that Ramsay joined United’s set up for the forthcoming season;
He told United’s website : “We’ve been fortunate enough to convince Eric Ramsay to come and join the best club in the world and in the country.
“He’s a very highly rated coach who is going to be working with individuals and in charge of set-plays as well.
“We’re excited. He’s young, fresh and with new ideas, an innovative coach we know from before. Kieran [McKenna] knows him really well from Loughborough, so we’re very pleased with that.”
It’s clear that Ramsay is the right profile to enter through the doors of Carrington. He is a coach on the rise and United have to improve defending set-pieces. Should this happen, then United will represent a more formidable opponent.
This could be United’s most important signing of the summer. We’ll see if this proves to be the case as we progress into the season.