There’s a rumour doing the rounds in the UK media about Benni McCarthy’s salary at Manchester United that may say a lot about the Bafana Bafana legend’s motivation at Old Trafford.
According to the Daily Mail last month, McCarthy didn’t even ask about what his salary would be when he initially signed his contract with United last year to join Erik ten Hag’s backroom staff.
United approached McCarthy after he impressed during a brief trial while overseeing United’s U-23s at Carrington, and the 45-year-old was apparently so delighted about joining that he agreed to the deal without even enquiring about what his pay would be.
Ten Hag initially sought ex-United striker Robin van Persie to come into his team in order to focus on United’s attacking options, but was reportedly unable to lure the former Arsenal man to the club.
He was then approached by McCarthy’s agent, who proposed a meeting with John Murtough, the club’s football director, in order to discuss possibly adding Benni to the United squad.Getty
The former Orlando Pirates man’s representative attempted to convince Ten Hag that McCarthy’s experience at Ajax would help him to understand the new Dutch head coach’s strategy and approach.
A case could also be made that Benni’s experiences at AmaZulu and Cape Town City FC were evidence that he knew how to improve players.
So far, things have been going well for McCarthy at Old Trafford, with the club’s players and fans alike taking to the head coach’s personality and clearly impressed with his ability to improve the Red Devils’ attackers.
Marcus Rashford is the big success story, of course, having scored 14 goals in 26 league outings to date.The England international hasn’t yet eclipsed Benni’s best goal return in the Premier League—18 in a single season with Blackburn Rovers—but he’s well on course to eclipsing his career best return of 17 PL goals in 2019-20.
Both Rashford and Ten Hag have attributed the forward’s improved form and confidence to Benni’s work behind the scenes, while the anecdote about his signing without considering the salary is perhaps testament to his desire to make his name in the coaching world after a stop-start time since hanging up his boots.
It also suggests that he has a genuine affection, or at least a respect, for United the institution, and clearly, with success coming his way, Benni must be delighted to have put pen to paper with the 20-time English champions.