Dwight Yorke Exclusive

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If Man United lose out on top four, but win FA Cup alongside the Carabao Cup, is it a failure of a season?

DY: “Would I rather Manchester United win the FA Cup and Carabao Cup but miss out on top four? That's a hard one to decide. From a manager's point of view, you want to win the cups because that's what you'll be remembered for, not for qualifying for the Champions League. Ideally, if you have two cups to your name after one season, you take that. I don't think there will be a lack of attracting players to the club if we're not in the Champions League because we're winning competitions, that's an attraction in itself. If Manchester United were not winning anything and also missed out on Champions League football, I know as a player that you can't turn down Manchester United football club.” 

 

Man United had Anthony Martial and Jadon Sancho coming off the bench against West Ham, two years ago that might have looked terrifying, what do you make of them now? Should they leave?

DY: “Anyone knows the history of playing away at West Ham, you have to roll up your sleeves and it's never going to be easy. It was never going to be a pretty game of football and you'll need impact players off the bench. You have five players to use as substitutions, but players like Jadon Sancho and Anthony Martial coming on, I don't see the fire in their belly when they come off the bench. I might be from a different breed, but the impression I get is that if something happens, those substitutes that come on will be like 'yeah that's great', but they're not coming on with a vindictiveness to get a result for the team. I like when Alejandro Garnacho comes off the bench because he brings the energy to the team, he has the hunger when he comes on. The other players who come on want to be fancy and have the ball to their feet, when they should be stretching the other team and trying to get in behind. 

“Martial has been here for seven years now, he's looked good in spells and was very promising. But you can't be going on loan at the age of 26 or 27, that's for people who are 21-years-old or younger. Once Martial went on loan, that should have indicated that his time is done at the club, like how it did when Jesse Lingard went on loan. When you go on loan and come back, you don't come back the same, not at that age. Sancho has found it very difficult to live up to the standards he was set, the British media built him up to be a way better player than he is. Sancho is lacking pace and belief in his ability, he needs to be a bit more direct. There was a big investment and Manchester United needed big performances from both of those players, but if you can't perform then you need to try your luck somewhere else.” 

 

If you were Declan Rice, who would you join? 

DY: “Declan Rice will have to sit down and decide what is the best choice for him in the summer. I don't think money will be an issue, but you're leaving West Ham to go win trophies and to play in the Champions League. Does Rice want to leave London? He could stay and play for Arsenal who have a project full of young guys there who are trending in the right direction. Chelsea are going through a transition, would he want to go into an uncertain period at the club? Manchester United are the biggest club in England, but would he want the pressure of playing for such a big club? It will be a personal choice. 

“If it was me and Manchester City were interested, then they would be first choice because of how they play and the trophies they win. I wouldn't rule Manchester United out because they're on an upwards trajectory and want to get better. I wouldn't go to Chelsea at the moment because of the disgruntled team. Arsenal would be a good choice if I wanted to stay in London, but Manchester City would be first choice and Manchester United second.” 

 

Should Bukayo Saka follow Bellingham’s footsteps and join Real Madrid if they’re interested? 

DY: “Real Madrid could be a massive attraction for Bukayo Saka. The Premier League is the best league in the world, without a doubt, but when certain clubs like Real Madrid come in for you, you can't ignore it. You'd have to see how you fit in their system, but when they come knocking, they're one of the only clubs you can't turn your back on. Manchester City, Manchester United and Liverpool are also those clubs you can't ignore if they came knocking too.” 

 

Liverpool look like they have a clear run to sign Alexis Mac Allister from Brighton, should Man United be challenging them for his signature?

DY: “I like Alexis Mac Allister, he has some great attributes. He's a similar player to Christian Eriksen, so that's probably why Manchester United have not gone for him. Mac Allister would be a great addition to any team, coming off a successful World Cup and he's been very consistent in the league. I understand why Liverpool are looking to sign him, Manchester United should as well. 

“Liverpool have been struggling in their midfield for a while and they need to refresh that area. They've changed their attack but not their midfield. If they can get Mac Allister, it would be a superb addition because it would be a different player to what they have in that team.” 

 

Micah Richards recently received criticism for saying he’d have sleepless nights if he was Harry Kane because he hasn’t won a trophy yet, do you agree with Richards?

DY: “I don't really listen to when those pundits talk, of course everyone is entitled to their opinion and that's why I don't get involved. But if Micah Richards said Harry Kane would be getting sleepless nights over not winning trophies, he should expect repercussions from that statement. Like every player, Harry Kane will want to win trophies. Yes he'll be remembered as a top goalscorer like Alan Shearer was, but Shearer won a Premier League in 1996. You'd think with Kane's goal tally, he'd have won a trophy by now. If you ask Kane if he's happy with his accomplishments, he'd say yes, but people tend to remember players by their moments when they win trophies. When his kids grow up and ask him 'what did you win?', that might not resonate too well with Kane, even with all the individual accomplishments he achieved. Kane might think being top goalscorer in Premier League and England's history is highly successful and he might be happy with that, others may not. It's a debate that will ramble on, different players will have different levels of success. 

“My opinion of success is, ultimately, trophies. Most players will say they want to win at least one of the major trophies. Individual trophies are great, but you'll want a trophy and your medals in your trophy cabinet back home, to say this is what you've achieved when you played. At the moment, Kane hasn't been able to do that.” 

 

I’m sure you have a big summer ahead of you in terms of searching for a managerial job, can you tell us any clubs you’ve had an eye on?

DY: “I'm always on the lookout for a new managerial job and you have to be proactive at this stage because opportunities will be coming up in the summer. I'm sure there are many other managers that are looking for opportunities the same as I am, and I don't want to reveal who I'm engaging with but I'm being very proactive, I'll tell you that. Not just in England, throughout the world, I don't mind managing abroad like I did in Australia. 

“I have to be realistic and realise the Premier League will be difficult to get into, I need to build up my CV first. But the Premier League is the goal in the end, I just need more experience and a little bit more success in the business elsewhere first.” 

 

If Arsenal don’t win the Premier League, what is it down to? Experience of the team, leaders, poor managerial choices?

DY: “Last season, no one thought Arsenal would be in this position. They have defied all odds and are still there, competing until the end. They might not have leadership in the team, but they're only one point behind Manchester City at the moment. They did need to stay calm in some games and ultimately, those games that they drew and dropped points might decide who wins the Premier League title this season, those are the slight margins of winning the title. But Arsenal have shown good resilience too, when they've come from behind to win games. They'll look at those marginal errors and learn what they have to do to win the Premier League, but they do need more experience in that team.” 

 

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