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How Benni McCarthy landed his dream gig

The process included an interview with Ten Hag & training sessions

by Ayantan Chowdhury

Apart from signing three players so far, Manchester United have also added a host of new backroom staff with Benni McCarthy being the latest addition. The South African has joined as a first-team coach.

Despite mischievous social media comments, Erik ten Hag has not had any coach forced upon him and the former Champions League winner’s appointment was rubber-stamped by the Dutchman after a thorough evaluation process.

The 44-year-old has been a life-long United fan and his agent Rob Moore revealed how former AmaZulu and Cape Town City coach landed the gig.

The process first involved an interview in which United Director of Football John Murtough was also present followed by a training assessment.

โ€œErik didnโ€™t know Benni, neither did Erikโ€™s assistant Mitchell van der Gaag. This was done completely only with Erik,โ€ Moore said on EnergyFM.

โ€œIt was a process. He had to be interviewed by Erik and the DoF at Manchester United John Murtough was also in the interview. Benni had to do a session with the United U-23 team under Erikโ€™s watch. Erik was watching and analysing Benniโ€™s suitability.”

ETH has big plans for McCarthy

Moore also revealed that there were quite a few other contenders for the role and it was difficult to land the interview in the first place. The process started back in April after the former Porto striker departed as AmaZulu head coach in March.

“I had a word with Erik that, if you are looking for somebody who is bound to understand your coaching philosophy and tactical approach, it’s Benni because he is a former Ajax (Amsterdam) player,” Moore was quoted as saying by City Press.

“He would understand how you see the game – a person who played and worked in England, who knows the Manchester area and who’s been a Man United supporter his whole life. Finally, In July, Erik contacted Benni to come in for an interview and explained the role to Benni.”

โ€œThen there were other people in contention for this job as well. It was a process that Benni had to go through. It was really good and quite an interesting process.โ€

Ten Hag has been impressed with his new addition and even went on to state that McCarthy’s role includes much more than training the strikers.

“He was a coach in the professional level and he was a former striker, a really successful striker as well. He will focus on the positioning and attacking. I’m not saying only the strikers, but also the integration from the full-backs and midfielders. Our way of play has to be dynamic,” Ten Hag told the club’s website.

McCarthy has had a glittering playing career in which he won the Champions League with Jose Mourinho’s Porto in 2004 and also represented English clubs like Blackburn Rovers and West Ham United. McCarthy was seen in the dugout during United’s final pre-season match against Rayo Vallecano.

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