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“Gold dust” How Sir Dave Brailsford’s mindest will influence Manchester United players



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Credit: London Business Forum

Sir Dave Brailsford has joined Manchester United as part of Sir Jim Ratclife’s 25 per cent stake in Manchester United.

The sporting overhaul at Manchester United kicked off on New Year’s Eve as Sir Dave Brailsford started work at the club as part of INEOS‘ sporting structure that has been implemented at the club.

Both Sir Jim Ratcliffe and Brailsford have held extensive conversations with Old Trafford staff, including the players and Erik ten Hag, and huge changes are expected to be made to the structure of the club in the coming months.

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Brailsford is best known for his work in British cycling but has previously worked in a number of sports, including football, where in 2013, he once gave a motivational speech to the players of Championship side Derby County, where now assistant United coach Steve McClaren was manager at the time.

Speaking to The Athletic, McClaren’s assistant at the time, Paul Simpson, recounted the experience.

“It was like gold dust, being able to sit and chat about different things,” Simpson said. “Dave is very simple in his thinking but obviously really effective.

“He’s a football fan to start with. But I think his take on it was psychology — it relates to every sport. If you make the environment good, if you have discipline, standards about yourself, if you try to get all the finer details right, then it’s not going to guarantee success, but it’s going to help you, and it’ll make it a better place to be.”

This psychological approach from Brailsford will greatly benefit United’s players as it will help remind them to get back to basics in football – without basics, a team cannot succeed.

Erik ten Hag has previously spoken about the idea that, although it is easy to play football, it is very hard to play basic football very well. This is certainly an area where United players have struggled in recent seasons.

There have often been criticisms of how the players try and overcomplicate matters and stick with old and disruptive habits on the field, but with Brailsford keen to create a good environment with key discipline and a focus on finer details, this can eradicate some poor recurring themes within the squad.