Eliud Kipchoge And INEOS Join Forces To Help Manchester United Reclaim Its Former Glory

The Kenyan's words of wisdom could be the marginal gain the soccer team needs

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Manchester United, a soccer team renowned for its rich history and global fan base, has recently faced challenges in reclaiming its former glory on the soccer field. 

In a bid to rejuvenate the team’s performance, there have been discussions about incorporating unconventional methods, including tapping into the expertise of elite Kenyan marathon runners and New Zealand’s All Blacks rugby stars.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, a prominent figure in the business end of the sports world and expected to confirm his 25% stake in Manchester United soon, is spearheading these efforts through his company INEOS

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Reports suggest that Ratcliffe and INEOS are exploring diverse avenues to uplift the team, both in terms of its on-field performance and its overall stature.

One intriguing aspect of this strategy is the potential involvement of Kenyan marathoners, including the legendary Eliud Kipchoge

Kipchoge, famous for his laundry list of achievements in marathon running, could soon find himself addressing Manchester United players on matters of mental toughness and endurance. 

Over his years at the epitome of marathon running, Kipchoge has developed a reputation for his philosophical statements and words of wisdom, which have become articles of faith for his countless followers.

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INEOS’s association with Kipchoge, notably through the INEOS 1:59 Challenge, where Kipchoge became the first person to run a sub-two-hour marathon (albeit, not record-eligible), highlights the synergy between marathon running and mental toughness.

Furthermore, the inclusion of New Zealand’s All Blacks rugby stars in this initiative adds another layer of expertise. The All Blacks, known for their dominance in rugby and their unwavering mental resilience, could provide valuable insights into building a winning mindset among Manchester United’s players.

The rationale behind this unconventional approach lies in the philosophy of “marginal gains,” championed by Sir Dave Brailsford, Ratcliffe’s right-hand man. 

Brailsford, renowned for his success with Team Sky and British Cycling, believes in seeking incremental improvements across various aspects to achieve significant overall gains

By incorporating tactics and insights from diverse sporting disciplines, such as running and rugby, Brailsford aims to foster a culture of continuous improvement within Manchester United.

The potential benefits extend beyond motivational talks. 

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Insights from Kenyan runners and coaches on mental toughness, fitness and changes in pace while running and from the All Blacks medical experts on injury prevention could contribute to enhancing the players’ physical conditioning and resilience.

Additionally, Ratcliffe’s broader vision for Manchester United encompasses ambitious plans, including the construction of a new stadium and substantial investments in player recruitment.

These plans reflect a concerted effort to revitalize the club and position it for sustained success in the competitive landscape of modern soccer.

As Manchester United navigates its journey towards reclaiming its position at the top of English and European soccer, the incorporation of outside expertise from the worlds of marathon running and rugby demonstrates a forward-thinking approach to performance enhancement. 

While the impact of these initiatives remains to be seen, they signify a bold step towards embracing innovation and unconventional strategies in pursuit of sporting excellence.

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Jessy has been active her whole life, competing in cross-country, track running, and soccer throughout her undergrad. She pivoted to road cycling after completing her Bachelor of Kinesiology with Nutrition from Acadia University. Jessy is currently a professional road cyclist living and training in Spain.

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