Two former Liverpool stars, Dean Saunders and Graeme Souness, have ripped into INEOS’ Sir Dave Brailsford’s credentials to work at Manchester United.
The coach and performance director has had a huge amount of success in cycling and according to The Manchester Evening News (MEN), “created the ‘marginal gains’ theory which emphasised how small changes can make massive improvements. This school of thought led to great success with Team Sky, Team GB and latterly Team INEOS”.
However, this has left Dean Saunders unimpressed. The former striker has labelled the cycling supremo an “imposter” and had some choice words about the coach whilst speaking to talkSport.
“In football, you know what to eat, and the determination comes from your stomach and your head. How determined are you? That gets you a seven out of ten every week?”
“You can get as many laptops out as you like – and heart rate monitors – I’ve done it all! We’ve had sports psychologists. It’s all nonsense!”
The former Chesterfield manager argued that what really counts is the player’s desire, in their stomach and in their heads. He did admit tactics and diet can play a small role but a player’s success is fundamentally in their drive.
He went on to claim, “but don’t get hoodwinked by all these imposters in football, because if all the money was in rugby, they’d be in rugby! They crawl in through the doors and edge their way into the club, and earn £300,000 a year for doing nothing.”
It seems that Saunders has more of a problem with sports scientists than Brailsford personally, but nonetheless, it is a scathing attack on a man that many United fans’ will be hoping can help stop the rot in the club’s culture and performances.
The sentiment was also echoed by another famous United critic, Graeme Souness. The Scotsman is probably best known to any United fan under 30 as a Paul Pogba hater rather than the outstanding midfielder he was in seventies and eighties.
According to The Mirror, the former Sky Sports pundit also doubts Brailsford’s talents.
The former Liverpool captain argued “delegation will be key. There has been a lot of talk about Sir Dave Brailsford. If Brailsford really had the biggest say at Nice, who have struggled under Ineos ownership, I’d suggest Sir Jim would be better off looking for the best football man out there”.
Moreover, the pundit claimed that the coach’s lack of footballing background will mean that “Sir Jim has got to find a football man he can lean on heavily – really, really heavily – and then hope he’s hired the right one. It’s not going to be a quick fix.”
Clearly Brailsford has massive sporting credentials and is a legend in the cycling world, however, it is yet to be seen whether this can translate to a footballing department. United fans will be hoping that Sir Jim’s first appointment is more successful than the majority of the Glazers’ ones were.