Benni McCarthy lauds complete gentleman Erik ten Hag

Benni McCarthy, in a recent interview with iDiski Times, has showered praise on manager Erik ten Hag for the rebuilding work he has undertaken at the club.

McCarthy, who now works as a first-team coach at the club, with his main remit being working with the attackers, says Erik ten Hag has a “clear vision” of how he wants his team to play and is “top-notch in terms of tactics”.

“I think I want to learn as much as I can from this manager. He has such humility. He is humble, he is incredible, like just a complete gentleman in the game. And he is top, top, top, top notch in terms of tactics, in terms of the way you want to play. And his clear vision, what he has in store for the team. So I’m just sponging off him.”

McCarthy has been a United fan all his life and despite not being able to play for the club, he has realised his dream to be at Old Trafford as a coach. He left a head coaching job in South Africa at AmaZulu to join United.

Since his arrival, his impact has been hailed by many United players, especially Marcus Rashford. The Wythenshawe superstar has unlocked a prolific level to his game this season and he credited work done with McCarthy as a big reason behind it. He also reportedly helped revitalise Jadon Sancho through one-on-one sessions with him this season.

McCarthy joined United in July 2022. At the time, Ten Hag revealed that his remit will be to focus on “positioning and attacking”, and the “integration from the full-backs and midfielder” into the attack.

Manchester United’s attack this season – High chances but low scoring

McCarthy has clearly had a big impact this season. Along with Ten Hag, the United team has started showing patterns of play in attack.

In the Premier League alone, United has scored 49 goals this season but underperformed their xG (expected goals by almost 10).

This shows that while United are creating high-quality chances aplenty, they have lacked instinctive finishers up top to take advantage of those chances. For context, Manchester City, the top scorers in Premier League, have scored 84 goals from an xG of just 74.

Consequently, United are in the hunt for a prolific striker in the summer, with Harry Kane, Victor Osimhen, Goncalo Ramos, and others making the shortlist. It would be an exciting prospect to see Benni McCarthy and Ten Hag work with better finishers considering the number of quality chances the team creates now.

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