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‘Marginal Gains’ Tweets Are Taking Over Man United Fandom, Here’s Why

‘Marginal Gains’ Tweets Are Taking Over Man United Fandom, Here’s Why

It is nothing short of a Christmas miracle if Manchester United comes out of a league match securing all 3 points and if Ramus Højlund scores in it. Manchester United is having a nightmare of a season as they linger in 6th place in the league table, having played one more game than many other teams.

However, their recent game was not as easy-going as Ten Hag would have hoped. They had to fight hard against Aston Villa for the 3 points in a thrilling comeback that finally ended 3-2.

If it’s Manchester United, you know there will be a buzz around the game. However, the topic of discussion was not only the thrilling game, but heads were also turned towards the home stand at a certain attendee who was rather an unfamiliar face among the sizable Manchester United fanbase.

The guest was none other than the performance director-David Brailsford. Over the coming months, he is likely to become a familiar figure in the United dressing room.

As per reports, Manchester United has finally undergone changes in ownership. Unfortunately for them, the Glazer family still sits at the helm. However, a new member has been added to the ownership table: the 71-year-old British billionaire, Sir Jim Ratcliffe.

Ratcliffe is the founder of INEOS and will purchase a 25 percent share in the Premier League giants as he prepares to begin work behind the scenes. He plans to implement a series of sporting decisions.

And if there is someone that Ratcliffe trusts the most, it’s the director of sports at INEOS, Sir Dave Brailsford.

Let’s take a look at the British cycling coach and performance director who is expected to land a key role amidst the change in ownership dynamics.

Who is Sir Dave Brailsford ?

Cycling fanatics or anyone familiar with the sport will already know who Brailsford is and what he has achieved in his sporting career. However, for those unaware, he was responsible for the development and subsequent success of Team GB and Team Sky over the last decade.

Dave Brailsford gained prominence through his achievements with Team GB at the Olympic Games, elevating British Cycling from two gold medals in Athens 2004 to an impressive eight golds in both Beijing 2008 and London 2012. He then led Team Sky to pursue Tour de France victories, overseeing triumphs from 2012 to 2018. Brailsford led the team to seven Tour de France titles.

The team was renamed Team INEOS Grenadiers in 2019, with Brailsford continuing as principal. Following this change, he collaborated closely with INEOS Group and assumed the role of Director of Sport two years later, overseeing various ventures.

What is his ‘marginal gains’ philosophy?

The BBC two-time Sports Personality of the Year Coach Award winner is famous for reinventing British cycling – focusing on technology and psychology.

Brailsford employed many practices to help riders control their “chimp” – the emotional, irrational part of their brain that has the potential to inhibit performance – to what he termed his CORE philosophy (commitment + ownership + responsibility = excellence).

However, he gained prominence due to a unique philosophy he termed ‘marginal gains’. The theory is about making small improvements across various aspects that contribute to a larger success.

In 2012 he simplified the Marginal gain theory by explaining: “The whole principle came from the idea that if you broke down everything you could think of that goes into riding a bike, and then improved it by 1%, you will get a significant increase when you put them all together.”

With Brailsford’s incorporation into Manchester United, it remains to be seen how influential this technique can be from a football perspective. Amidst the 3-2 comeback victory, Brailsford could not have chosen a better match for his debut at Old Trafford. The rollercoaster game must serve as sufficient proof for him that his work with the Red Devils won’t be that easy.

Manchester United has recently become more of a meme subject among football communities. On the occasion of a victory, meme creators have turned their attention towards the analyst to express their memes over social media.

They have highlighted how Brailsford’s wide smile quickly turned stone cold owing to Aston Villa’s early strikes. This expression seemed to reflect a realization of the tough job ahead, perhaps regretting leaving the cycling world.

Even though Manchester United did secure all three points, Dave remained calm till the end, prompting people to comment that he will need more than his marginal theory to pull the club out of the turmoil

However, by the looks of it, the majority of the fan base are eagerly anticipating improvement as they keep their fingers crossed, hoping for change for the better.

They hope that Dave’s inclusion in the management team can be as influential as the technical director of Southampton, Clive Woodward.

Now, we can’t say for sure how convincing the victory of Manchester United was for the Brailsford, but we can’t disagree that a fresh set of eyes from outside football, particularly from someone who is a proven winner, is a positive idea that will certainly influence Manchester’s gameplay in the long run.

Will some harsh decisions be taken regarding Ten Hag, or will United inject fresh blood during the January transfer window? We can’t predict, but we can assert that Manchester United is heading towards a new era. Fans just hope that it’s a positive one.