Greenwood’s star can continue to shine brightly
Mason Greenwood has really impressed me, even before his last game, he always gets his shots on target, and he has two good feet, not just his left. It’s good to see he’s being given a chance to shine and play regularly, and he’s taking that chance. He’s well on the way to being a really good player, what he’s shown is unbelievable.
He reminds me of Cristiano Ronaldo at that age, especially with his self-belief and confidence to take players on. They also share quickness and sharpness, he’s in a great position for his age, and as I said, he’s embraced the opportunity. He’s proving he can be a brilliant player not just now, but also in the future. If he continues on his current path, he’ll be one of the best players in the world.
He’s still a long way from being as good as Ronaldo I have to add, he has a long way to go, but at the moment he’s doing it the right way and he’s in the best environment possible. He’s surrounded by a great manager, experienced players, and great people, all of whom will help him take the next steps. These days we rush too quickly to say a player is the next Maradona, Pele, Messi or Ronaldo, we should let him find his feet.
Sometimes, when a young star comes through, it can worry other players who may lose their place, but I don’t think this is the case here and for me, players like Marcus Rashford have nothing to worry about, all three attacking players can complement each other as we’ve seen. The mix of youth and experience is good, this is all beneficial for everyone. No one should worry, they should feel joy, the competition makes you a better player, and it’s very positive for the club.
Rashford and Greenwood can get the best out of each other in the games to come, when you have a front three of them and Anthony Martial, it is so flexible, so quick, so adaptable. No one has a fixed position, they can swap positions and explore the entire final third independently. You can’t try to stop this, you must let them improvise.
It’s important for Greenwood to stay relatively level-headed right now. He obviously knows he has quality and a good environment around him, so it’s hard to be extremely humble, but it’s certainly easier to be more guarded than others might be. He can be as arrogant as he likes on the pitch, it will actually help him, but once the game is over you have to be respectful, and people will appreciate that and respect you more for it.
Spurs need leaders and Lloris showed passion that was lacking
To be honest I was happy with the Spurs’ result against Everton, sometimes you just need grit to progress. When I was at United and we became champions, we won most games 1-0 consistently, it’s the most important result in football. Three points equal three points, no matter how you get them.
Son and Lloris’ bust up was nothing, the desire to be a winner is always high and we should see this more often from Spurs players, it shows you care, you want to win, and you have the fire to do it. If players aren’t doing their job, they need to let each other know, even if they fight a little bit. In a way, Mourinho is right, and it was a beautiful thing to see. The only issue is that we, the fans, also saw it, and maybe it would have been better in the dressing room, but overall it’s good to see the fire there.
There were many fiery players when I was playing, everyone wanted to win. If the ref was a coach, you could bust up with them, with other players, there were fights often broken up. It was like this a lot at United, when Vidic was kicking someone and didn’t care, you would argue and fight, but afterwards you know it’s OK. We all wanted to win, and we knew that of each other.
If I did something wrong, Giggsy would tell me, and I would say to myself ‘come on now’. Patrice Evra was in a bust up a few times, Vidic also, it was mostly defenders as they’re the tough ones.
I don’t remember the last time Spurs did that, they have been very controlled with no anger. It was a pleasant surprise, I was like ‘f*****g finally’, he is captain and that is his job to let them know to be better. Again, maybe wait for the dressing room, but in that moment it can be an uncontrollable impulse. it was passionate, it was necessary, and when it comes from you captain you take it on the chin and do better next time.
Birthday boy Keane and I learned a lot from each other
Robbie Keane was very proactive, he was a captain that was there for everyone. He always wanted to help you, we had a great partnership and chemistry. It made both of us better players, so for me it was beneficial all the way. We still keep in touch, so happy birthday, Robbie!
It was great playing with him, we both improved for the experience. I learned a lot from him, because once you get to know a guy on the pitch, you see how he moves and how he receives the ball. This changes how you think, you start thinking how you can make him look good and vice versa.
Robbie was very respectful of me, my game, and my attitude. He never intruded on me or asked me to change how I was, and when I get that respect, then I will always give that respect back, and the results are there for all to see.
He will definitely be having a big celebration for his birthday! He was very proactive, always organised things for us and loved to socialise. Maybe Claudine will organise a party for him. I think he’ll have a good time with a couple of pints no doubt.
Two years at Juventus and still on top
On Friday, it will be two years since my former teammate, Cristiano Ronaldo signed for Juventus. No one can say Cristiano hasn’t been amazing in Italy, especially considering his age. He’s 35 now, oh my god, most players have dropped a level by now, what he’s still doing is unbelievable.
He takes care of himself very well, probably better than he ever has, because at that age you need to work harder to stay in good shape. Messi and Ronaldo, we need to treasure them, because when it’s over, it’s over. They have been more than special.
It will be one of the saddest days in world football when Ronaldo finishes playing, even those who dislike him will appreciate him. The day will come, but hopefully not for some time yet. When he’s finished, other players will come, even Pele and Maradona were eventually replaced- life is a circle. We have Neymar, Mbappe, Greenwood, and other young players that can hopefully reach the highs of Ronaldo and Messi, as unbelievable as that may seem.
Real Madrid haven’t been the same since he left, he was a huge part of the team. He scored so many goals it’s scary, he won so many trophies, and when he left, there was a big hole from his absence. Madrid will move forward, and they already have done, but he’s definitely still being missed over there. If, and when Messi leaves Barcelona, how do you fill that gap? They have to move forward, but in a different way.
My favourite moment with Ronaldo was when I set him up for the easiest goal of his life, against West Ham. I was going to finish it myself, but I was feeling generous that day. We always saw how professional he was, we all wanted to work as hard as him, but that’s why he achieved so much. All players can learn from each other, even if not by asking, just by observing.
He was so good at an early age, he never needed advice. He always stayed after training to work hard which we all saw. We were lucky to be part of a team with him, Giggs, Scholes, Rooney, Neville, so many more, all the players could learn from each other.
We will never know if he’d be as successful as he has been if he wasn’t at United at that young age. United is an amazing place for a young player to grow. The young players there, who train on the same pitches, use the same dressing room, speak to the same staff that Ronaldo did will look at what he went on to do with United and abroad and say ‘that can be me next, in my own way’.