Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag is concerned with his side's woeful form
Manchester United coach and multilingual speaker Benni McCarthy converses with players in four different languages on the Carrington training ground. McCarthy’s 18-year stint as a professional footballer has seen him play across the globe in England, Spain, Holland, Portugal and South Africa where he has picked up a solid grasp of multiple languages.
He is now plying his trade as Man Utd’s attacking coach following spells in South Africa managing Cape Town FC and AmaZulu. The 45-year-old is credited with being the man behind Marcus Rashford’s reawakening at the heart of the Red Devil’s attack last season and is now tasked with bringing out the best in £72million striker Rasmus Hojlund.
There is certainly a lot of pressure on McCarthy’s shoulders but the former Porto striker loves what he does. Always pictured with a smile on his face, McCarthy not only contributes as a coach but also in terms of the positive atmosphere he brings to the dressing room.
“I’ve conversed with David de Gea, Lisandro Martinez, Alejandro Garnacho and Facundo Pellistri – so that’s my Spanish crew. They’re the boys I speak Spanish to. Then my Portuguese crew is Fred, Casemiro, Bruno, Diogo Dalot and Victor Lindelof,” he said.
“Then there is the Dutch crew which is Wout Weghorst, the manager, Mitchell van der Gaag the assistant manager and Tyrell Malacia. And then obviously we’ve got the English boys. Unfortunately, there’s no Afrikaans [laughs].”
McCarthy’s attitude is especially important during a time in which there is so much uncertainty surrounding the club. From the increasingly frustrating takeover saga to Ten Hag’s recent falling out with Jadon Sancho, Man Utd need figures like McCarthy to ensure heads don’t drop when times get tough.
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“He is a really funny person, he’s always positive, he has good energy in the dressing room and training ground,” club captain Bruno Fernandes said of McCarthy during an interview with SuperSport TV.
“He was quality as a player and is quality as a manager because we do many drills from finishing, headers many stuff that he was really doing when he was playing and it can help us score some goals,” he added.
“Sometimes we joke, I tell him he was not ‘that good’ playing for FC Porto and he was dropping so many times and obviously our assistant coach Mitchell [van der Gaag] was playing in Portugal too and they know each other. They always joke around about when they played so that positive vibe and good energy can be helpful for us during the season.”
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