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One of Ferguson's secret weapons at United

A man who first came to Manchester United a decade ago is without doubt one of the secrets behind the success that Sir Alex Ferguson and his coaching staff have brought to the club. Apart from a short six month spell as manager of Denmark’s Brondby in 2006, first team coach Rene Meulensteen has been working with Sir Alex ever since. The 46 year old Dutchman has had a big influence in developing the talent at Old Trafford – from 9 year old kids right through to the first team, and has little doubt what makes club the envy of so many others.

As Meulensteen told ManUtd.com’s Steve Bartram “Every club has a blueprint, an identity, and United’s is very strong” he explains “United stands for attacking, attractive football played at high speed with one touch passing combinations, individual skill and unpredictability. That’s all conducted at pace, with intent.”

“The good thing about this club is that, with the manager and the staff, there’s a massive loyalty to all the players,” says the Dutchman. “We bring them to the club because we know they can perform for us. So if they do have a difficult spell, they can fall back on us. That’s where we need to work harder to get them back to where they should be. That works and players feel that.

“You can rely on the people here, the people you’re training with, the staff, the manager and you all aim for the one thing – the best possible performance and results, and ultimately silverware.”

The master coach cites Dimitar Berbatov as an example saying that “Berba sees the art and beauty of bringing a ball down from 30 yards, then flicking it through for a team mate with a back heel. It’s an artistic approach which gives colour to the game and makes him colourful. He’s a vital ingredient to what the team is trying to achieve.”

Meulensteen revealed that he once took the Bulgarian aside at training telling him to “think of himself as the best musician in the world, and as a team that we’re the best orchestra in the world. Everyone is playing the same tune – and Berba is elevating the whole performance, that’s why you are seeing beautiful things” he said “I want to see him with a medal around his neck and the biggest grin on his face at the end of the season so he can look back and know that he’s really contributed so much to such a massive achievement.”

While the quiet man in the background does his best work behind the scenes, the Dutchman has played a pivotal role in what United has achieved during the last decade.

Is the importance of coaching staff often underestimated?

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12 Responses to “One of Ferguson's secret weapons at United”

  1. Redscot says:

    How can you underestimate the worth of coaching staff? Thats similar to saying Teachers at School are not important and bring value to thier role and Subject they tutor their pupils in.
    The younger players are very fortunate at United to have such a dedicated and loyal backroom staff to coach them.The prime example of recent is Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and they way he was so proud and personal with all the reserve team players.I also thought this was clearly obvious also in watching the Interaction with the developing players and Ole, there was a mutual admiration.
    .
    Dutch coaches as we know are fabulous in general with youth and nurturing them through their early years.To progress to a top level,from a country with a relatively small population to as an Example big hitters in World football.
    Ajax as the prime example follow this ethos of the younger player production line.Rene I am sure will have seen this model in action in depth.I believe he has a magnificent pedigree with youth football history and numerous coaching badges.
    I concur coaches are vitally important.City link are brilliant. 🙂

  2. Frank Scicluna says:

    Absolutely agree mate. My point was that if you ask 10 United fans who the first team coach is, half of them will probably be unable to name him yet he is so important to the whole coaching set up.

  3. Redscot says:

    @The Boss, I understand what you mean regards 10 United fans! Its like what Tom and I were communicating about the other day on Truly Reds on his fabulous article.
    Its mundane and not excting like talking about the spearhead, the players.
    To me its all part and parcel of United, the Club.
    Anyway dont want to be up to late, reading about United. 🙂
    Look forward to the Thursday links. Cheers.

  4. Thomas Addison says:

    As usual RedScot you’ve hit the nail square on the head, especially about the Dutch and Ajax. Here’s one of the best football articles I’ve ever read, such an insight into youth development:

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/06/magazine/06Soccer-t.html

    If you want long-term success, you need an admirable, progressive set philosophy that all players and staff strive towards. Look at Barca, this team was literally decades in the making.

  5. steve says:

    Totally agree and I really hope we can get Carlos Queiroz back.

  6. Redscot says:

    @Tom Thanks for the link to “how a Soccer star is made” saved it in my favs.I will read it through later.Cheers Mate.

  7. mark flynn says:

    Is he the chosen one,when the messiah goes.

  8. joseph says:

    i really love red devil

  9. joseph says:

    i am enjoying when they in pitch playing

  10. joseph says:

    i am a nigerian leaven in cote d’ivoire, sometime i live my business focuse on watching united

  11. joseph says:

    i am proud of my team and Sir alex the best choach in english premier league

  12. joseph says:

    i can say that Dimitar Berbatov is the best player in mancherster united now

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