Benni McCarthy signs as new coach of Manchester United 1st Team

Legendary Bafana Bafana coach Benni McCarthy is “eager” to lead Manchester United’s first team. The 44-year-old was officially announced as a new Red Devils employee over the weekend and will be a member of the technical staff for United under new tactician Erik Ten Hag.

“I’m excited and happy to be here. I hope to push, change the mindset, and try to make a difference for United this season. During my playing days, I used to get off the pitch at Old Trafford with my tail between my legs because we always got hiding,” said McCarthy.

Since Sir Alex Ferguson’s retirement in 2013, United has performed below expectations. Since then, they have failed to win a league championship and had trouble being reliable. McCarthy believes that Ten Hag, his new boss, delivers something “different.”

“The mentality around the club is just different. Ten Hag brings something that is different. Hopefully this season we see a revived United that will challenge for Champions League qualification and give the likes of Manchester City a run for their money,” said McCarthy.

Ten Hag, meantime, acknowledged that he was seeking to expand his technical team and discovered that McCarthy was the ideal candidate for his backroom personnel.

“There was still one place in our coaching staff that I wanted to fill. Someone with a different voice and Benni is that one. He has experience as a manager. He was a professional coach and a former striker, a really successful striker as well,” added Ten Hag.

Ten Hag, a former manager of Ajax Amsterdam, went into more detail about McCarthy’s role on the team. “He will focus on the positioning and attacking. I’m not saying only the strikers but also the integration of the full-backs and midfielders. Our way of play has to be dynamic,” said Ten Hag.

McCarthy will be well-known to Ten Hag. When McCarthy began his career with Ajax in the Dutch Eredivisie in the late 1990s, the two players competed against one another.

McCarthy is also familiar with English soccer. He participated in Premier League games for West Ham and Blackburn Rovers. He famously scored 18 league goals for Rovers during the 2006/07 season. It was second only to Didier Drogba of Chelsea, who scored 20 goals that season, in terms of league goals.

“The mentality around the club is completely different. It just brought that something to lighten up what has been missing in the last few seasons and hopefully this season, we are going to see a completely revived United with a hungry bunch of players and a team that is going to be able to challenge to get into the [UEFA} Champions League and change the dynamics of the Citys and the Liverpools,” he added.

McCarthy had a front-row seat for Sunday’s 1-1 draw between United and Rayo Vallecano. The coaching staff is already in place ahead of the commencement of the 2022–23 campaign, with our Premier League opener taking place on Sunday, August 7, at Old Trafford against Brighton & Hove Albion.

Benni will serve as a coach alongside Eric Ramsay and Darren Fletcher, with assistants Ten Hag, Mitchell van der Gaag, and Steve McClaren close behind. The former midfielder Fletcher’s duties as technical director also extend to managing players on loan and the pathway from the academy to the first squad. The goalkeeping coaches are Richard Hartis and Craig Mawson.

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