Why Eric Ten Hag wanted Benny McCarthy at Manchester United

Eric Ten Hag, on Sunday, defined why he introduced Benny McCarthy to Manchester United as coach, a narrative he made public the athlete yesterday.

Ten Hag instructed MUTV, “There’s nonetheless one place on our teaching employees that I needed to occupy is somebody with a unique voice, and Benny is that particular person.

“He has expertise as a coach, he was a coach at an expert stage and he was a former striker – and he was additionally a very profitable striker. He’ll give attention to positioning and attacking. I don’t say only for the strikers, but in addition the mixing from the midfielders and the fullbacks.”

It was seen as a date left by some who didn’t share Bruno Fernandes’ enthusiasm.

A hero for the Portugal worldwide, McCarthy was a fan of Boavista in his childhood and nonetheless cherishes and remembers his 2003-04 Champions League Closing victory together with his group and was delighted with the information. And now he works with him.

McCarthy speaks Portuguese (from Porto), Spanish (from Celta Vigo), English (since childhood in South Africa) and Dutch (from Ajax). He also can converse native languages ​​in Cape Flats, the realm close to Cape City the place he grew up enjoying in an off-the-cuff league the place gangsters guess cash on their favourite groups.

McCarthy grew up in Hanover Park, a tricky neighborhood of entrenched values ​​tainted by the consequences of medicine and gangs. He was a greater cricketer than a footballer on the age of 11 – he thought-about himself a depraved half-fly in rugby too, however soccer was his approach out. A 16-year-old, immersed in tradition and surrounded by gamers with names like “Bazooka,” he mentioned he “would hit the ball so laborious that the goalkeeper did not stand an opportunity” or John Mushui boots who “had unbelievable ft and appeared like he was carrying dancing sneakers.”

“My idol was a legendary participant named Physician Kumalo – that was his actual identify,” he mentioned. His nickname was ’16 Valves.’ He was like Paul Scholes, the mastermind of the operation and named after a Volkswagen Golf that got here out and was tremendous quick. The Physician was so gradual I could not perceive the identify, however that was due to his fast pondering.”

Do not get boring quotes from Benny McCarthy.

Ten Hag has recognized since he took over at United that he desires one other coach within the teaching employees. Neither he nor his assistant Mitchell van de Gaga knew McCarthy, however, like many individuals in soccer, they knew From for him.

McCarthy gained the Golden Boot in Portugal within the 2003-04 season, and was the second highest scorer within the Premier League after Didier Drogba with Blackburn Rovers three years later. He was an amazing striker.

Steve McClaren, now a teammate of Ten Hag’s, tried to signal McCarthy as a participant when he was supervisor of Middlesbrough, however was unable to get a piece allow for him.

McCarthy is a disciple of Jose Mourinho, his outdated boss at Porto. He considers Mourinho’s time to “beat United” on his method to this European title 18 years in the past.

“How we ready for the matches, how he motivated and motivated the gamers. It was seen as unimaginable for Porto on the time, however he proved everybody mistaken.”


Jose Mourinho factors to Porto’s gamers Manish and Benny McCarthy throughout coaching earlier than their victory over Monaco within the 2004 UEFA Champions League Closing (Picture: Stuart Franklin/Getty Photographs)

That was when McCarthy smashed worldwide consciousness by scoring the Portuguese champions’ two objectives of their 2-1 house win towards United within the Spherical of 16.

Even a annoyed Sir Alex Ferguson described his second objective, with an elaborate header, as “out of this world”. Few ought to have been shocked by McCarthy’s netting at United. He had scored on all seven earlier events he had performed for an English group in his profession – together with South Africa towards England in Durban in Might 2003.

McCarthy’s transfer to United, which was confirmed on Saturday, will be traced again to Might when Rob Moore, his agent, first spoke to Ten Hag.

On the very least, Moore thought McCarthy could be somebody the United supervisor would look to, an up-and-coming coach. In the beginning of July, Ten Hag known as Moore and requested if McCarthy may go for an interview on the membership’s Carrington coaching floor. This assembly went nicely.

McCarthy defined about being a South African coach (he was named South African Premier League Coach of the 12 months 2020-21 with Durban Amazulu). Below his management, 9 gamers who had not performed for his or her nation earlier than obtained worldwide call-ups.

He was a coach who was not solely current and did it as a participant however may enhance the gamers.

United have had plenty of gamers who’ve gotten worse beneath a number of coaches lately.

Ten Hag requested McCarthy if he may come again and take some periods with the U23s. He then went to Carrington the week earlier than United traveled to Bangkok to take an extended session, divided into 4 components, to point out his teaching means. Ten Hag instructed South Africa he was in search of different potential candidates and would come again to him and let him know if he was .

A number of have had an opportunity to impress him, however McCarthy is probably the most distinctive of Carrington. Since finishing his UEFA Professional licence, he is been a supervisor and was impressed sufficient to be supplied – and turned down – a job for the South African nationwide group final yr.


(Picture: Ash Donelon/Manchester United by way of Getty Photographs)

McCarthy, 44, has taken rehearsals. He has achieved detailed analysis on all of United’s strikers, run periods and been fastidiously watched by Ten Hag and his assistants. United now have 4 coaches who’ve all managed on the highest stage of their respective international locations.

Whereas United have been nonetheless on that tour to Thailand and Australia, Ten Hag instructed McCarthy that he needed him to affix United. He was requested to contact the membership to terminate the contract as quickly as potential. The papers took a number of days to arrange and I signed on Friday, his first day on the job. He by no means as soon as requested about his wage on the membership he had supported his entire life.

The squad that McCarthy is working with now may be very more likely to see modifications over the subsequent month.

The way forward for Cristiano Ronaldo – who nonetheless desires to go away United – has but to be determined. McCarthy had a optimistic relationship with him throughout Ronaldo’s first tenure at United. He was enjoying 30 miles down the highway with Blackburn and the pair cohabited.

He’s energetic, daring, assured and able to go. Just a little bothered him. He was an adolescent when he walked into the Ajax dressing room on the age of 19 in 1997 and was surrounded by gamers who have been like Jari Litmanen. I’ve thrived.

McCarthy grew up supporting the nice golf equipment of United. After shifting to Blackburn from Porto in 2006, he mentioned: “I’m an formidable particular person and love the thought of ​​enjoying for one of many greatest groups, like United. I’m not saying I need to go there as a result of I’m very pleased with Blackburn, however I need to see myself on the prime enjoying from For one of the best, I need to catch their eye.

“It isn’t good to accept what you’ve gotten, you need to have ambition. With out the ambition of the gamers is nothing.”

He was formidable as a participant then, and now he’s as a coach. He desires to help Tin Hag and his employees, and he desires to assist persuade United’s incompetent strikers to fireside up once more, utilizing his expertise from doing the job himself and in addition what he is realized as far as a coach.

“I’ve at all times handed recommendation to the gamers,” McCarthy mentioned. “I may see issues occur earlier than they did it on the pitch. I studied the sport – and I can assist gamers make higher choices: when to play with one contact, second contact or to specific themselves.”

When he was a supervisor, he was requested to explain himself.

“Enthusiastic, passionate, and I really like my job,” he mentioned. “Identical to I used to be on the sector. I really like making a distinction and bettering my gamers’ lives.

“Generally I get too excited and have issues, like fights with opposition managers and referees, however I’ll study to scale back them as I progress in teaching. However the ardour won’t ever go away.”

In 2019, he mentioned: “I’m formidable, watching former gamers like Guardiola and Pochettino, whom I performed towards in Spain. I do not need to be removed from them.

“I don’t see any black coach within the Premier League. I’ll do my finest, study and pressure myself to be within the Premier League once more. The enterprise leaders are there. It’s a massive dream and nobody will have the ability to smash it.”

His dream is beginning once more now, and Manchester United could be no worse off if Benny McCarthy launched him.

(Prime Picture: Matthew Ashton – AMA/Getty Photographs)