Nemanja Vidic has admitted he finds it “strange” to put on a Manchester United shirt and play under a manager who isn’t Sir Alex Ferguson. However, the Manchester United captain believes United still have what it takes to retain their Premier League title.
Vidic, 31, says he really enjoys new manager David Moyes’ training sessions. “To be honest, it’s the same club. Obviously we had a change of manager but the players are the same and a lot of the same faces are still around. David Moyes has come in and he’s been great – I really enjoy his training sessions, he’s a straightforward person, he’s open, you can talk to him and he spends time explaining to you what he wants.” He told FourFourTwo.
The United captain added: “He’s very clear in his instructions. So I think he’s helped make that transition smooth for everybody. I can honestly say that the transition from Sir Alex to David Moyes has not been that hard for the players. Even the accent is the same – we don’t have any problems with the Scottish! Seriously though, I know people outside the club are asking questions about our squad – Do we have enough players? Do we need to sign a big name? – and they’re wondering if David can be successful after Sir Alex, but inside the club we’re really happy. Honestly, the training sessions are great, the players are all happy, we’re confident.”
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Sir Alex Ferguson believes Rio Ferdinand will sign a contract extension.
Ryan Giggs signed a new one-year deal on Friday and Sir Alex is confident Ferdinand will also remain at Old Trafford.
The 34-year-old centre-back has been linked with a move to China in recent months, but, when asked if Ferdinand would sign a new deal, Ferguson replied: “That is a strong possibility. It would have to happen before the end of the season.”
Ferdinand has been fantastic for United this season, and images like the one above show the defender is still as passionate as ever.
“I think he has had a great season,” said Sir Alex.
“He has managed himself the right way and we have contributed to that in the preparation we give him.
“He doesn’t play every game in the same way that Ryan doesn’t play every game. But in terms of key matches he has been absolutely brilliant.
“Two weeks ago, against Real Madrid, he was excellent so we need to get him ready for the big one on Tuesday.”
David Gill will step down as Manchester United chief executive on 30 June, United have confirmed.
Gill, 55, joined United in February 1997 as finance director before becoming chief executive in 2003. He will remain a director of the club.
Executive vice chairman Ed Woodward will assume Gill’s responsibilities.
Sir Alex Ferguson said: “Him stepping down is a big loss to me but the fact that he is staying on the board encourages me.”
He added: “If I could have found a way of persuading him to stay I would love to have done that. But he has made his decision and I respect him for it.”
“It has been the greatest privilege to serve Manchester United,” said Gill.
“I have worked alongside the finest manager in the history of the game and been part of what I consider to be the best club in the best sport in the world.
“It has been a very hard decision because I love this club and, as the fans’ banner says, it is ‘more than a religion’.
“I’ve experienced some incredible highs, such as the Treble in 1999 and the Premier League and Champions League double in 2008, and lows, like losing the title with the last kick of the season last year. But that is what makes this club and this sport so compelling.
“I’m delighted Ed has accepted the role,” he added. “I have worked with him for more than seven years.
“I am looking forward to continuing my involvement on the club board and I hope to be able to make a contribution to the game on a wider national and European level.”
Wesley Sneijder has claimed that Inter rejected a €20 million bid from Manchester United in 2012.
The Netherlands international had been heavily linked with a move to United dating back to 2010, before his switch to Turkish side Galatasaray in January.
“Manchester United had offered €20 million for me and the club rejected it,” he told Fanatik.
“I wanted to go to United but Inter didn’t let me. And then, they (Inter) asked me to lower my wage. I didn’t accept it.
“That’s why they put me on the stands for three months. I’ve experienced problems with the presidents both at Real Madrid and Inter.”
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has revealed his dream is to one day manage Manchester United.
The former super-sub played at Old Trafford for more than 10 years before retiring in 2007.
He left in 2011 to manage Molde in his native Norway, but has now said he wants to succeed Sir Alex Ferguson as boss at United.
He told Marca: “Maybe it sounds stupid but my dream is to manage United. But I am not saying it is going to happen.
“I worked with Alex Ferguson for 15 seasons as a player and then as reserve-team coach.
“His methodology has influenced my philosophy. Almost everything I know I learnt from Sir Alex.
“Both of us believe in ourselves, we always want to win and we put our faith in youngsters and work hard.”
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer factfile
- 1973: February 26 – Born Kristiansund, Norway.
- 1995: Joins Molde from Clausenengen FK and scores 20 goals in 26 appearances in his first season.
- 1996: Joins Manchester United in a £1.5m move on and scores on his debut against Blackburn on 25 August at Old Trafford.
- 1996-97: Finishes first season as United’s top league scorer with 18 goals
- 1999: 26 May – Scores injury-time winner at the Nou Camp to beat Bayern Munich and win the Champions League.
- 2007: 27 August – Retires from playing.
- 2008: Becomes reserve team manager at United.
- 2010: Named as the manager of Molde, severing a 14-year tie with United.
- 2011: Leads Molde to their first league title in 100 years in his debut season.
- 2012: Molde win the title for the second year in a row.
Ahead of facing his former side in the Champions League knockout stages Cristiano Ronaldo has been reminiscing about his time at Manchester United.
“Yes Manchester was a very good cycle for me.
“I won everything there. It was a fantastic part of my life there.
“And maybe it was the time I enjoyed my football the most because I was so young.
“To be at Manchester United – one of the biggest clubs in the world – at just 18! It was a dream!
“And to play alongside those players you had only seen before on television – maybe that’s why I feel I enjoyed it there the most.” he told The Sun
Ronaldo, who won nine trophies in six seasons at Old Trafford before leaving in 2009, added: “I’m not saying I don’t enjoy it here in Madrid, I do.
“But I’m older now, more mature. I’m not a dreamer any more like I was when I was young.
“I’m 28 now so I’m not at the beginning any more. I’m middle-aged.
“It’s true – I am middle aged in football years.”
The Portuguese international has scored 179 goals in 178 games for Real Madrid. That’s better than a goal a game for the Spanish champions, compared to his still very impressive 118 goals in 292 United outings in all competitions.
So, it begs the question, does Ronaldo think he is a better player then he was at United?
“No, the statistics have changed because I am more mature and I have learned some things.
“With that maturity you actually do more things for the team rather than for yourself. But I still try to score as many goals as I can although I also try to give a lot of assists.
“You also have to realise that the football here is different, the team is different. Many things here are different.
“I am always striving to improve and I know you can only do that by working hard and giving more. I’m prepared to do that.”
Ronaldo had some kind words for his former boss Alex Ferguson, the man he has described as his footballing father. He said: “I arrived at United aged just 18 years old and he taught me how to grow up properly in the football world.
“Who better? He has so much experience – 1,000 players have passed through his hands.
“So he knows and appreciates what young players need.
“And what he taught me was the importance of decision making.
“How important it is to make the right decisions on the pitch and off it.
“That’s why I say he was like a father to me.
“He taught me everything, he helped me so much, guided me on so many important things.
“That was in football and in life because his influence and interest doesn’t stop at the touchlines. He cares about you as an individual.
“He is a very human person who understands what you want and what you need.
“I remember one day in my first season and we came to Christmas and, of course, there is no winter break in England.
“I asked him: ‘Coach can you give me three or four days to go home to Portugal?’
“And straight away he said: ‘OK no problem.’
“He knew I was very important to the team but he also knew at that time I needed my family so much and that was a very important moment for me.
“I realised he understood and he cared.
“Sometimes when you asked him for something you didn’t get an answer instantly.
“He would say: ‘Let me think about it.’ And then next day he would give you his answer – yes or no.
“Even if it was a ‘no’ there was a reason and an explanation.
“He knows how to treat people well, how to make you happy, how to motivate you.
“He has that in abundance and it works because it’s real – it comes from inside him.
“So I owe him a lot. That’s why I keep in touch and that’s why it will be great to see him.”
However, that won’t stop Ronaldo trying to knock United out.
He added: “The Champions League is very special at Madrid because we want to win a 10th European title.
“For me it is the pinnacle. There are so many memorable matches that remain in the minds of the players and the fans.
“And I want to make my contribution, I want to leave my mark.”