Giggs: ‘The Pram will be very close!’
Hi Ryan! What’s it like to be part of the coaching team?
It’s a new challenge and the next stage of my career. The opportunity came out of the blue but I’d been working on my badges in preparation for life after playing, so I said yes, thanks very much! It’s certainly been an eye-opener, seeing what goes on behind the scenes.
I guess the manager wanted continuity. He brought in Phil Neville as well — we both know the club inside out so hopefully we can help him in what he wants to do.
Have we seen the last of Ryan Giggs as a player?
Not at all. I signed for one more year and I intend to honour that. I enjoy playing as much as I ever did and every season I can continue to contribute becomes more and more precious to me. I still think I can play to a decent level so hopefully I can do my bit both on and off the pitch.
Is the club still in shock after Fergie’s retirement?
It was a big thing, obviously. Everything the manager did for us, the success he brought and the way he ran the club, made his decision difficult for the players. I personally owe him everything. But David Moyes is great. Everyone saw what a fantastic job he did at Everton. He sets really high standards, which is the United way. It’s a massive job but he can handle it. He has a squad which has just won the Premier League so it’s not like the team was in trouble or anything!
But there’s the pressure of filling Sir Alex’s shoes…
He’s the right man. He has the talent and the personality to do things his way, the right way. He’s a no-nonsense character who knows what he wants, for sure. It’s the job of the senior players, and hopefully myself, Phil and the rest of the coaching staff to help him bring more success to this football club.
Does the change of manager open the door to your rivals?
I don’t see how change always has to be a bad thing. We have a team — especially the younger lads who won their first title last season — desperate to be successful again. We have a new manager but so do Man City and Chelsea. I’m expecting a very close but very enjoyable Premier League season.
But with United coming out on top, of course?
Absolutely, yes. As I say,
I think it’ll be very tight but we have the players in place to be successful. For over 20 years, we’ve had a winning mentality drummed into us each and every day, and that will continue, hopefully for the next 20. Sir Alex’s legacy is there for all to see, our job is to ensure that continues under the new manager.
Cech: ‘It’s fantastic to have Mourinho back!’
Hi Petr! What’s it like to have the “Special One” back?
Fantastic! He’s the same as before — very determined, organised and passionate about bringing success to Chelsea. It was like coming home in many ways. He expects a lot of us!
Presumably you have happy memories from his first stint at Stamford Bridge?
Of course! We had success that Chelsea would’ve only dreamt about before. He also made me Chelsea’s number one goalkeeper and I’ll never forget that. I owe a lot to him for the confidence he showed in me.
Were you surprised by his return at all?
Nothing surprises me in football. There were a lot of rumours so we were all hopeful it would happen. When it did, there were plenty of smiling faces at the club.
What can he bring to the Blues?
More trophies, simple as that. The team has come together under him and worked hard, which was always his way. The players know what’s required and are responding to this. His attention to detail and focus is second to none but I suppose his hunger is the biggest thing. And his man-management skills are incredible which comes with experience, too.
Do you think he’ll rebuild, or focus on the players still there from his first time at the club?
Oh, that’s a matter for him, not me! No matter how young or old, the Chelsea dressing room has always been about never giving up, never lying down, always fighting, always working hard for each other. That will continue, whatever. We have bad times but somehow we come out the other side with trophies. I’m hoping we can continue to be successful — but maybe with less of the pain along the way.
Do you reckon Chelsea are favourites for the title?
Having Jose here has definitely given everyone around the club a lift but, ultimately, this is a results business. Emotions don’t come into it. Both Manchester clubs will be incredibly strong and Arsenal will be, too, so we know it’ll be difficult. But if we get off to a strong start and build some momentum we could be a major threat. Jose will demand an improvement in all of us and that means doing better than we did last season in the Premier League and the Champions League. He won’t accept anything else.