New Manchester United Assistant Manager Steve McClaren Criticises Negative Energy And Body Language In Players

Steve McClaren has hit out at players who show negative body language and energy as he talks about its effects on building a winning culture within a club in the latest episode of the podcast he has with his son.

Steve McClaren is joining Erik ten Hag as one of his assistant managers, with the other one being Mitchell van der Gaag, as Ten Hag believes that McClaren has an understanding of the club, having previously been Sir Alex Ferguson’s second hand man in charge from 1999 to 2001.

The former England manager knows how to cultivate a winning culture in a football club and his ideologies seem to mirror that of Sir Alex, Ten Hag and Van Der Gaag.

The current crop of United players could be in for a massive shock when the new managerial era gets a hold of them as player power seems to be an alien concept to the new men in charge, who believe good energy and hard work is the key to success.

“These are the things that we need to do, things like we all need to connect with each other.” McClaren explained on the McClaren Performance podcast, one where he speaks alongside his son.

“Games are won Monday to Friday, if you get Monday to Friday right [then] games are won on Saturday,

Steve McClaren at Manchester United. (Alamy)
Steve McClaren at Manchester United. (Alamy)

“Each and everyone has to bring energy,” McClaren then goes onto mention former United managerial target Mauricio Pochettino and his approach, “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.”

This cut throat attitude towards preserving the winning energy is what kept United successful for so many years, however in recent times certain players have become more important than the badge and this is no longer the case.

Having the correct mental attitude is important to winning atmosphere according to the new assistant. He also reiterates the pointlessness of negative physical cues when talking about this need to be ready. 

“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.

“A lot of people now, body language [is] 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.”

This is behaviour that a lot of the current United team are guilty of and McClaren thinks that rather than complaining, players need to face the consequences of their actions.

“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 repeats, “You’ve got to be a class act, especially in today’s football.”

A big difference Between the Manchester United glory teams of the past and the team of present seems to be that the squads that won on a regular basis knew what they should and shouldn’t do.

Erik ten Hag watching Manchester United vs Crystal Palace with Mitchell van der Gaag and Steve McClaren. (Alamy)
Erik ten Hag watching Manchester United vs Crystal Palace with Mitchell van der Gaag and Steve McClaren. (Alamy)

Because of this, the staff trusted them to do the correct things, not many people would say this about the United team today.

“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.”

With the pre-season tour fast approaching, United are playing Liverpool on the 12th of July in Malaysia, many fans are excited for Erik ten Hag and his staff to not only implement his play style on the team but also change their mentality into a winning one similar to that of Manchester United teams of old.

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