Following a poor start to life in the Premier League this betting season, AmericanGambler.com caught up with former Manchester United star Andrei Kanchelskis, who said that United can still be crowned champions this season.
The former Russian international also said that Maguire needs to be stronger as a captain as
‘it’s football, not ballet’
and when asked if he could sign any one player, declared that United are crying out for a Roy Keane.
What was Roy Keane like when he was a young player coming into Manchester United?
Roy Keane is a fantastic player, a marvellous player. He was the best player in that position I’ve ever seen in my life. The First season he came from Nottingham Forest, he was a little bit quiet! Then the second season he really came into the dressing room as he had more experience. We were a massive club with a great dressing room, where everyone was speaking and everyone was helping. In his second season he became more relaxed around the senior players in the dressing room, and then obviously went on to become a great captain. Roy Keane was captain for a long time and United miss this type of captain!
What do you make of Harry Maguire as a captain?
I don’t know. He’s not someone that inspires you like a Roy Keane. He’s a little bit quiet and doesn’t really sparkle. You look at how Roy Keane and Bryan Robson used to fight on the pitch, he’s a little bit quiet and needs some determination and be a bit more aggressive. This is football; it’s not ballet.
If you could sign any one player for Manchester United, who would it be?
If I were manager of United I would want to sign Roy Keane. I’m not sure there’s anyone like that now though, a player like a Roy Keane, Paul Ince or a Bryan Robson.
What are your thoughts on Paul Pogba?
Pogba is always talking about leaving Manchester United, so for me it would be better if you just left.
If you’re saying every time ‘I don’t like this, I don’t like, I want to leave’ then just leave. Go. Leave. No problem.
Do you think is agent Mino Raiola is the problem?
Of course! Raiola is a huge problem, he’s always saying that Pogba is not happy at Manchester United. If you want to come and play for Manchester United, you need to open your heart, play 100%. It’s a shame as Pogba is a great player.
Is it possible that Manchester United could still win the league this year?
Yes! Why not? With everything going on with Covid, you are seeing some teams are finding it difficult and some teams are playing badly, some teams play better with fans. I’ve seen the results and anything can happen. Liverpool lost 7-2 and United lost 6-1. With everything happening, it’s a good chance to win the title.
What would your starting team be at United?
It’s hard because it seems like there might be a few problems at Manchester United. Firstly in the dressing room, secondly with the groups where is it was one family before in the team, just one group.
Two goals on the weekend for Edinson Cavani; how important could he be for Manchester United?
He is a great player Cavani, a really typical striker and his mind-set is all about scoring goals. It’s also a good move for him, a different country, different football after playing in Italy and France. English football is difficult, you generally need time to adapt, but he is already scoring goals.
What do you make of Jesse Lingard and his situation at Manchester United?
For me he’s a great player, and I think the problem for him is that he is not playing every game at the same level, like a Dennis Irwin. He needs to maintain the same level. He plays excellent football one game and then has a terrible game the next.
Do you think Jesse Lingard may have to leave Manchester United?
It’s a problem for the chairman because we need to keep hold of these players, and our players need to be comfortable and spend time playing with each other. We played four seasons from 1991 to 1994 together and we won two titles, because we played every game with the same team and played to a consistent level.
There have been a lot of rumours about Pochettino. Would you rather him or Solskjaer?
My opinion is that United are better keeping Solskjaer at least until the end of the season, and see what happens. Why change manager halfway through the season? It would just cause big problems. It’s a decision for the chairman if he wants Pochettino, right now United are going okay, they’re doing well in the Champions League, and the performances are getting better in the league. Look at Man City. They started badly and people are saying get rid of Guardiola. It’s crazy. You need time!
You saw a young David Beckham at Manchester United, was he always practicing free kicks?
I didn’t see him too many times, but he did practice with the first team a couple of times, as the first team were training at The Cliff and the reserve team were training at another place. But I know that he would always stay behind after training to practice his free kicks for half an hour every day. It was great because you don’t see that many people saying after training, as you see a lot of people after training getting a shower and then going home.
Did you ever see anyone receive the hairdryer treatment from Sir Alex Ferguson?
Never really, he was more about encouragement but there was no bad language or saying bad things about football players. He would tell us we play for fans, that we play for families, but not saying bad things.
Do you think that the ‘hairdryer’ treatment is a myth?
Yes! Of course. If you came to the ground he would just want you to give 100% otherwise you can sit on the bench or sit in the stands.
Did you did you go to the pub with the rest of the Man U players?
All the team would go to the pub after the game, we would have a party on the coach after away games and we would go to the pub for a couple of pints after playing every team. Every time there would be at least 7 or 8 players have a couple of pints and then go home, no problem. It was good because we would need to speak about the games after playing, and going for a couple of pints you would be more relaxed and open your mind to what has happened, sometimes apologise.
How good a job has Gerrard done at Rangers? Can Rangers win the league?
I hope so! Obviously I played at Ranger,s and Celtic has been like Liverpool were to United in the 80s. I really hope the Rangers do win the title, I think Stevie is doing great work and has a team of great players.
What was it like playing at Ibrox in front of such passionate fans?
Ibrox is great and the fans were excellent. You only have to look at when they were in the second division and there were still thousands of fans at Ibrox coming to watch the games. Absolutely brilliant fans. It’s such a good chance for them to win the league this season, but then you wonder if Stevie will have many years left at Rangers, as a move to the Premier League would be likely.
Would you assume that he will be Liverpool’s next manager after Klopp?
Of course because he’s a legend there, and he’s also worked at another big club in Rangers. Liverpool fans love him, the city of Liverpool loves him, he’s done great work for Rangers. Why wouldn’t Liverpool go for him? I think he’ll definitely end up at Liverpool.
What were you thinking when you stood on the ball and saluted in the League Cup win against Ayr United?
Ha! River playing at Hampden Park in the semi-final and it was a great moment as I stood on the ball watching for my strikers, waited for him to play a one-two, put in a great cross and then we scored a goal. It was absolutely brilliant! Dick Advocaat wasn’t happy though!
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