EXCLUSIVE: Mikael Silvestre Column #13

Mikael Silvestre spoke to Dan Burdett.

Hi Mikael, how are you, and what have you been upto since we last spoke?

Been good thank you, been juggling between coaching the U18 Crossfire from Lake Oswego who became State Champion last Sunday, TV analyst on Fox Sports during Champions league quarter and semi finals, attending Miami RumFest where Rhum St Barth collected 2 gold medals for the 3rd year running. It’s been a busy and positive period really on all front!

What did you make of United’s performances against Bayern Munich in the Champions League? From a United fans’ point of view conceding those goals so soon after scoring first against them in both the home and away legs were difficult for us to take…

Any goal against is hard to take but  the quickness of Bayern’s response highlighted the team weaknesses this season. If The team could have count on Juan Mata and Robin Van Persie I think there would have been more chances to go through but from the Olympiakos away performance i thought the chances to reach the final were close from 0%. Despite that feeling i was really pleased to see how the team stick together as a unit to defend against Bayern. The counter attacks were not enough in numbers unfortunately to create a real threat to Bayern’s defense.

How do you see the final going with Ronaldo’s Real Madrid and Atletico? 

It will be a very tight game, both teams knows each other so well the positives and the negatives. My sense is that Atletico will be afraid of leaving space in behind them for Cristiano and Gareth Bale to run into so they will stay far back to avoid that. Real Madrid has enough control in midfield to respond to that positioning except that they will miss Xavi Alonso whose suspended for the final.

At United, we sacked David Moyes since your last column – was that the right choice for y

It’s the same question as 11 months ago, ‘Is David Moyes the right Man for the job?’. I don’t know, nobody knows! 27/28 years ago when Sir Alex took the job there was a huge pressure but not as big as the financial pressure the club/ owners are under or are putting themselves under.I think there was less room for time for David Moyes for this reason.

My view is that you should allow managers to built what they want. This has surely been discussed internally so we won’t know what was the plan in details but what we know is that the champion became weak under David Moyes. Despite the retirement of Paul Scholes and the sickness of Darren Fletcher the squad remain the same. The old guard became older so what? We’ve praised them against Bayern during the first leg for stopping Ribery Robben Muller and Mandzukic. Consistency is key and that’s where Sir Alex excelled by miles. He was able to keep everybody focus for 11 months. That’s what it takes to be the best from the best ! And that’s not easy to achieve…

Ryan Giggs has been mentioned as the successor but Louis Van Gaal might well be named as manager by the time this column goes to print – who is the right man for the job? 

If you are asking me to pick I’d say Louis Van Gaal, 1. I’d love to see Ryan in a few years in that role but not now it’s too premature . 2. You need an international  figure from the management world to refurbish  the successful team right now. Louis Van Gaal has that profile.

Liverpool have been the big surprise this season… As United’s biggest rivals, our fans are not pleased about this and would rather Chelsea or even Manchester City won the league instead of them. Why do you think Liverpool have improved so much over the last year?

For sure Man City already came back from the dead thanks to Abu Dhabi’s wealth you want Liverpool to stay buried! And I mean it!

The addition of Daniel Sturridge has given Suarez a big boost to link up with and take some load off his shoulders, the confirmation of Sterling, the addition of Coutinho, the fact they don’t play in Europe and also the fact that nobody consider them as a champion contender. All of this brought them back in the title’s final race. The Liverpool fan can’t believe it themselves!

They’ve shown a lack of experience where it really counts – are you backing City to win the league now?

They shown what I consider being their weakest link, their defence is not consistent enough, they’ve been showing a lack of understanding and positioning at times with individual errors that in crucial times like right now will cost you the title. Man City has now their destiny back into their hands. Now Jose could say The title is for Man City to lose! Hahaha!

In the Summer, Manchester United will return to the USA on Tour. Did you enjoy visiting USA on Tour during your time at United and what did you make of their support for United there?

It’s a great opportunity for the club and the players to return in the USA for a pre season tour. I remember in my times the players use to love to come out here. You are able to work in a quiet atmosphere with top facilities and the freedom to walk around the streets of LA NYC Chicago etc  is very unusual. I’m sure it will be a good time once again…

I’ll be in Indonesia on May 24th to play a charity game with some guys you’ve might have heard of: Andy Cole, Paul Scholes, Dwight Yorke, Bryan Robson, Denis Irwin and so many more…

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