Bring energy, sort the body language, and do the right things… or suffer the consequences: Manchester United No 2 Steve McClaren outlines his blueprint for a culture of success under Erik ten Hag
- Steve McClaren has returned to Manchester United as Erik ten Hag’s assistant
- McClaren was No 2 to Sir Alex Ferguson when United won the treble in 1999
- United have since fallen by the wayside limping to sixth in the table last season
- The Red Devils have been criticised for having a fractured squad in recent times
- McClaren has given an early flavour of what they can expect under Erik ten Hag
Steve McClaren has blasted players who fail to contribute to a positive energy at a football club, insisting a negative body language and attitude are detrimental to a winning mentality.
Manchester United struggled last season first under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and then under interim boss Ralf Rangnick as the early season title contenders slumped over the line to only seal a Europa League spot in sixth place on the final day of a chaotic campaign.
Steve McClaren has given out the blueprint on how he hopes to get Manchester United firing
The Red Devils were constantly criticised throughout the season, with many accusations pointed at a fractured club and dressing room, with many players off form or accused of no longer putting in their best effort.
McClaren insists this culture has to change immediately to get the Red Devils firing again, starting with getting everyone onside during training in a build up to matches.
‘These are the things that we need to do, things like we all need to connect with each other.’ McClaren explained to his son on their McClaren Performance podcast.
McClaren (right centre) is back at United as assistant to new boss Erik ten Hag (left centre)
‘Games are won Monday to Friday, if you get Monday to Friday right, games are won on Saturday. Each and everyone has to bring energy,’
McClaren then referenced former Tottenham Hotspur boss Mauricio Pochettino who famously took Spurs to unfancied title pushes in 2016 and 2017 based on a high work ethic system where everyone contributed.
‘Pochettino talks about creating the culture, if no one brought energy he got them out, they had to bring some kind of energy to the group,’ he added.
McClaren was previously assistant to Sir Alex Ferguson (centre) when United won the treble
United fans are sure to be encouraged by McClaren’s words, who also mentioned how negative body language will also be looked down upon under the new regime at Old Trafford, and that players should generate all their focus on winning the ball off the opposition rather than react with frustration.
‘You have to be ready, have to be ready to train, you have to be ready to play, ready to impact as a sub, you have to react,’ he said.
‘A lot of people now, body language arms up in the air, you’ve got to react to get that ball back, win that ball back, whatever situation, react quick don’t think about it.’
Manchester United stars often cut dejected figures throughout a chaotic 2021-22 season
United players have also been accused of not taking responsibility for their poor displays in recent years, and recent managerial exits of Rangnick, Solskjaer and even Jose Mourinho have looked to be as a result of player power.
McClaren though insists there can be no hiding away from poor performances though especially if there has not been a full commitment shown.
‘You’ve got to accept the rules, the conditions, you’ve got to accept the consequences if you do things wrong. You’ve got to commit, you’ve got to be a class act,’ McClaren said, ‘You’ve got to be a class act, especially in today’s football.’
McClaren has previously worked with Ten Hag during their time together at Dutch side Twente
McClaren knows exactly how to bring success to United. He believes a key approach is laying down unofficial rules that players can collectively buy into and trusted to follow, which was carried out by previous stars such as Roy Keane, Paul Scholes, David Beckham and many more under his first spell at the club.
‘When I first went to Manchester United there was hardly any rules but what they did; they did the right things and if they didn’t do the right things they owned it and they suffered the consequences and accepted the consequences.
‘And I think if you’ve got those non-negotiables around that then you can’t go wrong.’