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Proof that Benni McCarthy is truly appreciated by Man United fans?

09:17 WAT 16/01/2023
Benni McCarthy Manchester United.
The Bafana Bafana great is becoming something of a cult hero among Old Trafford supporters

Erik ten Hag and Marcus Rashford may have received the lion’s share of the plaudits following Manchester United’s derby victory over Manchester City on Saturday, but Benni McCarthy is steadily emerging as a cult hero among Red Devils supporters.

Hailed by South Africa fans as one of the main reasons behind Rashford’s renaissance at Old Trafford, and United’s upturn in fortunes under Ten Hag, McCarthy is also being appreciated by United fans in Manchester as well.

One observer in attendance at Old Trafford, as United came from behind to dispatch their fierce rivals, points out one moment that shows the esteem with which Red Devils supporters hold their new assistant coach.

“Benni McCarthy got a massive cheer from the crowd waiting for players to leave,” wrote Twitter user @MicTuathaigh. “Clear to see who the United fans' favourite backroom coach is.”

This may have just been a tiny moment, a little detail in a day full of celebration for the 20-time English champions, but it is clear evidence of how supporters are coming round to the impact of the former Blackburn Rovers and West Ham United frontman as part of Ten Hag’s backroom staff.

Since McCarthy arrived in the North West, he’s received public praise from Rashford as well as United greats such as ex-left-back Patrice Evra, and it seems like supporters are now seeing his value as well.

Critically, McCarthy’s arrival has led to a dramatic upturn in fortunes for England international Rashford, who has now scored in each of his last seven appearances in all competitions, including in each of his last nine matches at Old Trafford.

Already, under McCarthy, Rashford has dramatically outperformed his Premier League return for last term, in which he managed a lowly four goals in 25 top-flight outings under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and then Ralf Rangnick.

This term, he already has eight in 18, and is on course to hit double figures for only the fourth time in his career, and the first time since 2020-21.

United fans are clearly seeing the attacker return to the outstanding form that characterised his performances between 2018 and 2020, when he scored 27 league goals across two seasons, and fans clearly believe that McCarthy has had a big part to play in the upturn.