Interim to the interim Man United manager Michael Carrick is set to Ask Alexa to pick his team for tonight’s game with Arsenal, Paddy Power News understands.
The stand-in coach has been pressed into action for a third consecutive game as mooted interim manager Ralf Rangnick waits for someone in the Work Permits department at the Home Office to confirm he’s not the German equivalent of Steve Keen.
And, with questions raised about his decision to drop Cristiano Ronaldo in United’s last game, the club legend will defer to the voice-operated app when it comes to selecting his team.
The Geordie explained his decision at his pre-match press conference.
“It takes the pressure off me for sure, especially with Ralf [Rangnick] trying to pick the team from his car in Calais.”
“Since Ole’s gone, there’s a lot more focus on me and the rest of the coaches, so any other member of staff, random person, or algorithmically-generated voice-activated app that can take some of the heat off us is fine with me.”
He went on to explain how the computer program’s knowledge of the game is “second-to-none”, citing numerous examples.
“Alexa, how many goals did I score for United? ’24’ she says.”
“Alexa, how many England caps did I win? ’34’ she says.”
“Alexa, how am I still here when Ole got the sack? ‘Haven’t a f**king clue, mate’, she says, so she clearly knows her stuff.”
The caretaker boss was also forced to deny reports that United chief exec Ed Woodward had agreed to allow the Amazon Echo app pick the team for one game as part of their TV deal with the Premier League.
“The game being on Amazon has nothing to do with my decision,” he stated, though he did admit Woodward had “suggested” the app was useful for all sorts of tasks.
“Sure, Ed told me how he’d asked Alexa whether to re-sign Ronaldo, whether to sack Ole, and who he could bring in if to replace me if I refused to use the app to pick the team, but that was purely a hypothetical question…”
Thursday football tips
And Carrick is confident the computer-generated voice will make the right selection for the showdown with the Gunners on Thursday night – provided it is not interfered with.
“We’ve had to stop Sir Alex [Ferguson] pressing random buttons and telling her ‘you pick your best players’, but other than that it should be fine.”
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