Benni McCarthy revealed

McCarthy reveals secret behind success at Manchester United

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Bafana Bafana legend Benni McCarthy has revealed the secret behind his success as Manchester United first team coach.  

Speaking to renowned sports broadcaster Robert Marawa on #MSW947, McCarthy spoke candidly about what made him a hit in his first season at Old Trafford 

“For me, it’s all about working on consistency, simple drills that strikers would face in a game seven out of 10 times and the more consistent you get at those, the better you will be. Even the defenders were coming to do finishing drills, and we started making it into a mini-competition, and that’s how everyone kind of became involved in what I was doing. We created a competitive culture through that,” he said.


Manchester United coach Erik Ten Hag appointed the Bafana Bafana goal-scoring record holder in July 2022 as the forwards’ coach. McCarthy, with 30 goals for Bafana, immediately got the Red Devils’ front line of Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho, Anthony Martial and young Alejandro Garnacho firing.

Rashford, in particular, blossomed under Benni McCarthy and finished the season with over 30 goals. McCarthy even got the 20-time league champions’ midfielders, such as Bruno Fernandes, Casemiro and Fred, to bang in some important goals. In total, Manchester United scored an impressive 58 league goals to finish a respectable third on the log table and earned a Champions League spot.

 Benni McCarthy embracing a teammate.

Although he was left “with a lump in the throat” when super-agent Rob Moore first told him that Ten Hag wanted to meet him, the dream move to Manchester United did not intimidate Benni McCarthy.

“A lot of the players there already knew who I was, and of course, I had to prove to them that what I am bringing can add value to their game. A lot of pressure was on me, and you have to know your story, so I just did things that I would have loved to have done as a player,” he said.


The 45-year-old also opened up about what went wrong at AmaZulu.

“I felt like there were people at the club who took you five steps back after making 10 steps forward [at AmaZulu]. You have to make hard decisions in football if you want to succeed. I see now that they are making the changes that I wanted when I was there, and I would probably still be there and in charge of a very competitive team,” said Benni McCarthy.

The former AmaZulu coach remains proud of guiding Usuthu to a surprising second-place finish in the 2020/21 Premiership campaign, securing their first taste of CAF Champions League football. However, the outspoken coach appeared to place blame for the failure to build on this success on AmaZulu owner Sandile Zungu.

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“Toppling Sundowns would be a huge task given their success, but I believe that money can’t buy you everything, and if players have the will and heart to succeed and if you are willing to die on that football pitch, you can beat anyone. The club, president and chairman didn’t see the potential I saw at that time, and they didn’t want to build on the season we had when we ended second and competed in the champions league,” he said.

The former Bafana Bafana star has no regrets about leaving AmaZulu.
“When you don’t want to make changes because you have had success, you are making a huge mistake, and that’s what happened. This is me now, and me not staying there has given me the opportunity to go to Man United, and AmaZulu is back to where they were before I arrived there,”  he said.

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