BREAKING: Meet Erik ten Hag’s Manchester United backroom team following summer reshuffle
It wasn’t just the to the squad where changes were made at Man United during the summer.
Erik ten Hag (centre) added to his Manchester United backroom team during the summer.
The postponement of the weekend’s Premier League matches has allowed Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag the opportunity to reflect on his start to life in the job without his latest assignment getting in the way.
Both the Premier League and the EFL made the decision to postpone this weekend’s matches, meaning United’s scheduled trip to Selhurst Park to face Crystal Palace on Sunday afternoon was called off. The Reds will return to action when they face Sheriff Tiraspol in the Europa League in Moldova on Thursday.
United’s players will have a few more days of preparation on the training ground before flying out to the Bolshaya Sportivnaya Arena.
It won’t just be Ten Hag who the players will be aiming to impress in the build-up to the game; they will also want to catch the eye of other members of his coaching team. Here are the main members of United’s coaching staff:
Mitchell van der Gaag
Ten Hag’s right-hand man at Ajax, Van der Gaag was prised away from Ajax at the same time as the former, arriving at Old Trafford in May. He is United’s assistant manager and offers a hands-on approach on the training ground.
He has worked alongside Ten Hag since June last year after a managerial career of his own, with spells in charge of FC Eindhoven and Excelsior Rotterdam, as well as several other clubs. Ten Hag, in July, spoke about Van der Gaag, explaining what he would bring to United.
“Mitchell van der Gaag also has a lot of experience, firstly as a player. He played many games at the highest levels in different leagues. After that he became a coach, also in different countries and different levels. So he came with a lot of experience.”
United’s second assistant manager, McClaren returned to United in May, more than 20 years after bringing his first spell at Old Trafford to an end. Ten Hag was McClaren’s assistant at FC Twente.
On being reunited with McClaren, Ten Hag said: “Of course [having McClaren’s insight has helped]. That is also part of the reason that I really wanted him along with the other capabilities that he has.
Steve McClaren returned to Manchester United during the summer.
“The fact that he knows the club is a big advantage for us and, although it is a long time ago, he knows the culture of Manchester United.”
Ramsay joined United in July 2021, being added to the first-team coaching environment. Specialising in dead-ball situations, the former Chelsea coach is tasked with taking charge of set-pieces.
As well as that, Ramsay, who was retained by Ten Hag this summer, is an individual coach who works closely with the players. He has also worked at Shrewsbury Town in the past.
Now in his second spell at United, Hartis is the club’s senior goalkeeping coach. He returned to Old Trafford in 2019, having previously worked as the club’s head of academy goalkeeping for more than a decade up until 2010.
He worked closely with former United boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer during his time in charge of Molde and Cardiff City, so it was no great surprise when Solskjaer triggered a reunion ahead of his first full season in charge of United in the summer of 2019.
Mawson is another of United’s goalkeeping coaches, also recruited in 2019. Aged 43, Mawson spent much of his playing career in the lower reaches of English football, enjoying spells at the likes of Oldham Athletic and Halifax Town.
After hanging up his boots in 2010, he worked at Burnley’s academy for nine years before making the switch to Old Trafford.
A surprise addition to Ten Hag’s coaching team during the summer, former Blackburn Rovers fans’ favourite McCarthy is United’s new striker coach. The South African, who also played for West Ham United during his Premier League career, is responsible for specialising in the Reds’ attacking play and positioning.
Benni McCarthy joined Manchester United in July.
He has been in management and coaching for several years, most recently working as the manager of South African club AmaZulu.
It was announced during the summer that technical director Fletcher would remain part of Ten Hag’s first-team coaching group after being involved in the squad’s pre-season tour of Thailand and Australia. The Scot returned to Old Trafford in January 2021 as a coach and was later named technical director.
Fletcher, who made almost 350 appearances for United as a player, oversees the pathway players must take from the academy to the first-team. He also oversees players United decide to send out on loan.
Once a United player, serving alongside Roy Keane, Clegg is the club’s first-team strength and power coach. He played for the Reds between 1995 and 2002 before returning in 2019 under Solskjaer.
He worked with Keane during the former Republic of Ireland international’s time in charge of Sunderland.
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