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Williams lashes out at McCarthy critics after Manchester United appointment

19:09 GMT+3 02/08/2022
Benni McCarthy AmaZulu
The former Orlando Pirates striker is now working under Erik ten Hag at Old Trafford, five months after being fired by AmaZulu

Bafana Bafana legend Mark Williams says he was surprised seeing Benni McCarthy being appointed forwards coach at Manchester United, while slimming those who spoke against the ex-FC Porto star.

After spending two and a half seasons at Cape Town City, helping them to the MTN8 title, then guiding AmaZulu to a runners-up finish in the Premier Soccer League, McCarthy has a new job at Old Trafford.

He had appeared an outcast of South African football when he was strongly linked with Orlando Pirates who, however, settled for an unknown coach in Jose Riveiro.

“I’m surprised to see him go to Manchester United. Yes, I didn’t expect that team. I thought he would go first to other teams,” Williams told Sowetan Live.

“Sometimes as South Africans, we need to respect people when they played abroad and want to coach. Benni was at Cape Town City and AmaZulu and did very well and people started questioning his work and said it was a fluke.

“But what they don’t understand is that Benni played internationally, so he knows about the game. He knows the mentality. He knows all the tactics and how it works.”

Williams also thinks McCarthy's Manchester United move will open doors for South African coaches to work in bigger leagues.

“To be honest, I don’t think the African coaches get the recognition they deserve,” added Williams.

“I’m happy for Benni and now I want to see other coaches like Pitso [Mosimane], who has done everything in Africa, but people won’t remember him if he doesn’t go and coach in Europe.

“Look, it’s difficult to get in there, don’t get me wrong and we want to see black coaches coaching in the top five leagues in Europe. Now that Benni is there, they are opening doors for people to go.”

McCarthy was on the bench when United played Rayo Vallecano in a friendly match last weekend.