Kevin Pilkington joins us to pick the bones out of the recent Premier League wins over Norwich, Tottenham Hotspur and West Brom.
United got a crucial win at Norwich with Paul Scholes and Ryan Giggs scoring – Giggs’ goal coming on his 900th appearance for the club. We’ve talked many times about what great servants both have been to the club but let’s talk about how they good they are now as footballers. Both have been making important contributions – there’s a popular phrase “if you’re good enough, you’re old enough”, is the same true of “if you’re good enough, you’re young enough”?
I think whether young or old if you are good enough you should play – Giggs and Scholes have been proving that week in week out. And Sir Alex has always given youth their chance over the years. He is never frightened to give them their chance. I think Scholes has made a huge difference to the team since coming out of retirement. He just orchestrates the play. And what can you say about Giggsy! An awesome achievement to play over 900 games for one club and win so many honours. Legend!
That Norwich game saw De Gea have arguably his best game for us, as he made at least 3 world class saves but had a general command of his area that we hadn’t seen before. The last time we talked you were beginning to be convinced by him – surely his form in the last few weeks has silenced any doubters?
De Gea has been fantastic in recent weeks! The fact that he is playing regularly has been a big help to him in my opinion. Not just his stunning saves but his overall game has been great to see. Showing all the doubters why United paid so much money for him.
The game against Spurs was a tremendous test – and United looked like they might struggle early on, before pulling out a couple of classic sucker punches. When people discuss the experience United have in title races, that’s exactly what they mean. Do you think that might edge us over the line ahead of City?
United will win the league especially now they are out of Europe. They have the experience and mental strength to get them past the finish line.
Ashley Young also made a fantastic input at White Hart Lane – with Nani’s form not being the greatest lately, who would your first choice wingers be?
They are both great talents! Young started the season on fire then injuries caused a bit of a dip in his form but he was back to his best against spurs. Nani can be frustrating at times but then he pulls out a bit of magic which is what you want from top players. They will both be very important in the run in and both will play a big part.
Wayne Rooney scored twice in the last league game against West Brom – a little sign that he’s maturing. This season he has scored in plenty of big games but also, he’s scored when he hasn’t played particularly well – as he did last night – something he never did before. He’s not quite on the same level as a Messi or Ronaldo but would you say he’s the best of the rest?
He is world class. He showed that last night with a piece of brilliance out of nothing. Not sure you would say third best in the world but he is up there.
Paul Pogba has been a name in the headlines; how have you viewed that saga, and are you pleased he seems to be staying at United?
I can’t understand young players wanting to leave United. Obviously if they aren’t getting a chance but the likes of Pogba and Morrison wanting to go elsewhere when they are getting chances at the biggest club in the world baffles me. I hope he stays because he looks a big talent.
You recently became the latest member of the class of 1992 to retire as you finished up playing at Luton to join Notts County. Firstly let me say thank you for your contribution as a player to United, and remind you that no goalkeeper has broken through the ranks to make as many appearances as you since Sir Alex took charge!
That’s a nice stat!
How’s things going back in Nottingham? You’ve had a storming start to your time there, keeping a number of clean sheets and then that impressive win at Charlton...
Yeah I’m gutted to have stopped playing but never say never – I might do a Scholesy!! I’m enjoying the role immensely and it was the natural step to make in my career. I love goalkeeping and hope that I can help the keepers at Notts improve and become better. Nothing would please me more than to see one of the young keepers make their debut in the first team! We have had a great start and hope that will continue. We have got two difficult games coming up against both Sheffield teams but we showed on Saturday that we are a match for any team in the league.