YORKE SALUTES KANU, OKOCHA AS THE BEST
Posted: Jul 25, 2012
Wants Van Persie To Shun Man City, Juve For United
Manchester United legend Dwight Yorke was in Lagos on Tuesday to launch the Glo Manchester United mobile site. He told journalists why Austin Okocha and NwankwoKanu are special players, and why Old Trafford is the best destination for want-away Arsenal striker Robin Van Persie, among other views. NURUDEEN OBALOLA was there…
What is your impression of Nigerian football and footballers?
Nigerian football was at one time really on the rise but then you lost your way with the performance at the South Africa 2010 World Cup and the failure to qualify for the last Africa Cup of Nations. The country produced some great players in the past like (Nwankwo) Kanu and (Austin Jay Jay) Okocha and some young players are coming through now, so the future looks good.
Okocha and Kanu were great players and we all admired them when they were in their prime. They both played in the Premier League and were fantastic;Okocha for Bolton, Kanu for Arsenal. These were players who brought Nigeria to the fore and you guys should be proud of them.
I believe Nigeria will show their quality and pick up from where those guys left off.
Manchester United have been linked with Robin Van Persie. Would you like him at Old Trafford?
He’s a great striker without a doubt but his injuries held him back in the past. But this past season he was injury-free and his quality showed. He’s a fantastic talent, a fantastic goalscorer and that’s why everyone is after him. He’s at a crucial stage of his career, 28, 29, and he wants to win trophies.
He’s done everything from an individual point of view and now he wants to play for a bigger club than Arsenal.
I’m not saying Arsenal is not a big club but he needs to win something to show that he’s a real top player and he can do that at United. If he ends of at Manchester United I’m sure that will be a major coup for us. I’m sure he’s going to bring something special.
How do you think new buy Shinji Kagawa will fare at Manchester United?
He’s a young guy; he’s just 23. I joined Manchester United when I was 26; I was a full-blown Premier League player. But this guy has never played in the Premier League although he’s done quite well in Germany. The Premier League is a different ball game and he’s coming to a new environment. The game is much faster and he’ll take time to bed in.
But, looking at the bigger picture, the one great thing about Sir Alex is not about immediate results; he’s all about the long-term. So these young players will be on top of the game in two, three years dominating the Premier League. Chicharito (Javier Hernandez) came in and did extremely well but found it very difficult the following year. But that will be a learning curve because he’s a young man who will develop.
The bigger picture will be the next two, three years when we’ll dominate the Premier League and hopefully do well in Europe.
Manchester City beat United to the Premier League title last season on goals difference. How will United respond?
Manchester United have been dominant since the Premier League was launched in 1992/1993 and we’ve won a lot more titles than anyone else. But even then we’ve always had and expected competition and Manchester City are the latest challengers.
City have made progress largely due to financial reasons and have become a force to reckon with. Their owners have bought the best players money can buy and it’s obvious they are here for the duration; they’re not going away.
The loss of the title disappointed the players and the fans and it’s an incentive for United to regain the Premier League trophy. Sir Alex Ferguson has a great desire to win the title again because the loss to City hurt him immensely.
What are the benefits of the Glo/Manchester United mobile site to fans?
It’s going to be very beneficial to the fans. It will provide highlights and gives you a chance to see United games you might have missed. You can go to the website and get an instant update of games and texts. You can buy stuff online and get things you would not normally get anywhere else. The Glo/Manchester United mobile site is a way of displaying how technology has moved on and we’re tapping into that.
What is it like representing Manchester United as an Ambassador?
It’s obviously an honour and I’m humbled by the fact that Sir Alex has given me that opportunity to become a member of the Manchester United family.
It’s been a high-profile journey with one of the biggest clubs in the world. It’s great to be here in Nigeria to share my knowledge and be part of the Glo and Manchester United partnership. What more can one ask for?
You formed one of the deadliest strike partnerships with Andrew Cole at United back in the day. How good is the Wayne Rooney/Danny Welbeck partnership?
They have proved that they are a handful when they play together. It’s been good to watch them play; the movement of both players is great. They both play for England as well and both of them have built a great partnership.
But I think that partnership will get better with time. We can see Welbeck developing and we know what a fantastic player Rooney is already. So let’s hope that this season both of them will excel.
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