"United’s flag is deepest red, it shrouded all our Munich dead. Before their limbs grew stiff and cold, their heart’s blood dyed it’s ev’ry fold. Then raise United’s banner high, beneath it’s shade we’ll live and die. So keep the faith and never fear."
Manchester United full-back Luke Shaw, who is set to face former club Southampton on Friday, is enjoying life under Jose Mourinho and relishing the attacking freedom he has been given by the boss.
Speaking to MUTV, Shaw explained, “At times people have said maybe he [Mourinho] doesn’t like his full-backs to go forward but that’s not the case.
“He gives both full-backs that license to go forward, obviously not at the same time but if I have the chance then it’s up to me if I want to go forward or not.
“It’s not that I’ve got to stay put or do particular things, I’ve got the freedom to play and that only gives me the confidence in what I want to do to help the team.”
Shaw, who joined United from Saints in 2014, described the reunion with his old club as “a very special moment”, adding: “I was there for a great ten years and I’m really looking forward to seeing some of my team-mates that I played with."
Shaw made an impressive return to the Premier league in last Sunday’s 3-1 win at Bournemouth in what was his first league appearance since September.
Watch more of MUTV's interview with Luke, as well as a sit-down with Ander Herrera on Thursday Focus at 18:30 BST.
I love this lad ! , Luke shaw , de gea , bailley , pogba , rashford , martial that is 6 players who is going to be among the very best in europe within 3 years , combine them with smalling , mkhi , mata , herrera , schniderlin... the kind of sheer class and talent in our squad is there for all to see , good enough to match Bayern , Real and Barca in a couple of years (ofcourse am counting on rooney fucking off to MLS)
August, 2012. London and Great Britain are basking in the glory of an incredible Olympic Games, Sir Alex Ferguson is embarking on what would turn out to be his final season as United boss and, across the city at the Etihad Stadium, Luke Shaw is enjoying his first taste of the Premier League after being named as a substitute for Southampton’s match at Manchester City.
Shaw is yet another exciting prospect honed and developed within Saints’ famed Academy ranks which spawned Gareth Bale, Theo Walcott, Adam Lallana and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain to name but a few. The man himself is wracked with nerves, but buzzing with excitement as he watches on from the bench.
Now, as we sit chatting at the Aon Training Complex about that game, he says he can still remember everything about the experience, and recalls with delight the day he made his first Premier League start, some months later against Swansea City in November 2012, and became the youngest player at the time to begin a top-flight match.
“I couldn’t believe it!” he beams, when he thinks back to being named on the bench to face City, following Southampton’s promotion back to the highest level. “A few weeks and months before, I’d been sat watching the Premier League on TV thinking I want to be playing in that one day. I remember I was on the bench a couple of times before I actually played and I was so nervous, even just being sat with the subs. The first game was City away and then I was on the bench again for the next home game [against Wigan] and the left-back at that time, Danny Fox, got injured in the first couple of minutes. I was so scared as I thought I’d be coming on! [Laughs] But I thought to myself ‘this is my chance.’
“It didn’t happen then but I remember we went away a couple of days before the Swansea game because, at the time, we weren’t getting too many good results and we needed something to change. I knew I was starting and I found it hard to sleep because I was so nervous and so excited at the same time. I didn’t tell anyone, not even my mum, until the day of the match as I think my family would have been just as nervous as me. It went really well though, it was a draw and I haven’t looked back since.”
He certainly hasn’t. Indeed, fast forward four years from that Manchester City match to the exact same day - 19 August - and Shaw is back in Manchester, making a welcome and successful return to Premier League action at Old Trafford this time, against his former club, following last season’s well-documented injury lay-off.
“I’m feeling fit and I’m just looking forward,” he declares. “My main aim this season is to stay fit, play as many games as possible and win trophies. With the squad we have and the manager we’ve got, we should be winning trophies this season. That’s our aim.”
Aiming high is always what Shaw has strived for. And while determination, talent and hard work are key, the 21-year-old cites enjoyment as a vital part of the attitude needed to succeed at a club like United.
“For me, coming up through the ranks, the main thing was to always make sure I enjoyed myself whenever I went out onto the pitch,” he says. “Every game I play, every training session I’m involved in and even every moment around the training ground, you just have to enjoy it because I'm one of the lucky few who get to do this. I can imagine there are a lot of people that wish they were in my position right now or anyone’s position in the changing room, so it’s important to just enjoy every minute of it.”
Shaw admits there were times as a teenager when reaching the highest level seemed like a distant dream, but he learnt the valuable lesson of grasping any opportunity that came his way.
“When I was about 15 I wasn’t getting in the team at Southampton and was often on the bench for the Under-16s. I remember getting a chance when one player got injured. It was the one chance I got and I took it and it promoted me into the starting XI and that continued to the first team. When I look back, the most important thing for me was to take my chance, and when I got it, thankfully I did.”
But how does Luke Shaw then, compare to Luke Shaw now? “When I was younger, I used to think I was slow! [Laughs] I can’t even remember if I was quick or not – but I think I’ve got quicker and stronger and built up more confidence over the years,” he declares. “I’m still the same lad I was when I was younger, nothing too much has changed - apart from on the pitch.”
That it has. In June 2014, he became the most expensive teenager in world football (his team-mate Anthony Martial took over that mantle last year when he arrived at United) after making the multi-million pound switch to Old Trafford. “When I first came I was like: ‘Wow, it is as big as everyone says’ and I’ve always said about going on tour and seeing the amount of fans we have across the world, it was so surprising and amazing. I’d never experienced tours like that.”
He describes joining United as “the biggest step up you can probably make” but it’s a club he feels completely at home with, and he’s part of a squad that, he believes, can achieve big things under Jose Mourinho.
“It’s a fresh start with the new manager, he has come in and set his tone and brought in so many good players that have benefited our squad. He’s won so many trophies at so many different clubs and he’s going to bring that success into our club, so hopefully we can win many trophies with him as our manager,” he adds. “Everyone is excited and training hard. We’re just focused on winning every game and, with the squad we have, I don’t see why we can’t. Everyone is together in the changing room which is very important for a club to be successful. There are no distances between the age groups with the young players sticking with each other or the older players just being with each other. Everyone gets on with each other.”
Mourinho himself echoed those sentiments after last week’s opening-day victory at Bournemouth and also revealed the impact Zlatan Ibrahimovic has had on Shaw and co. "The first thing I can tell you is that at his table for breakfast, and for meals, he is surrounded by the young ones, the kids. Luke Shaw, Marcus Rashford, these are the guys who are with him at the table. He knows what he can be for them.”
Ask Shaw what kind of person the Swedish striker is and his face lights up. “He’s funny. He’s one of the nicest guys as well and he has a lot of stories that we like to hear; the way he tells them is so funny! [Laughs] We get on really well with him. It’s not like he’s just sat with the youngsters though, we all sit together and, honestly, listening to his stories is so good!”
Ibrahimovic has kicked off his United career with goals aplenty and finding the net is something that Shaw is on a mission to complete, with a first Reds goal still proving elusive - even if his near miss in Wayne Rooney's Testimonial against Everton suggests it may not be too far away.
“The goal is always on my mind whenever I play!” jokes the defender. Has he got a celebration ready or been working with Jesse Lingard on a ‘dab’ version? “No, I’ll stay away from Jesse with that celebration - he’s got his new friend [Paul Pogba] in to do that! I haven’t thought about any celebrations, I don’t know what I’ll do in that moment – I’ll probably jump into the crowd but we’ll see.”
For now, Shaw is focused on helping the Reds jump ahead in the league table, and two wins from two, with five goals scored, hasn’t been a bad way to kick things off.
Absolutely loving what the younger players are saying, seems perhaps the "Ibra Effect" is already well taking root. Entire team seems very close knit, and that is an "intangible" that will win the tough games.
Interviews, there is so much "lip service" passed about, but when you look to United, this is not "lip service" these payers are tight in a brilliant United vs the rest of the fooking world way, an they don't intend to take prisoners.
If I wsa an opponent of this club, I believe I would think 2 or 3 times before I pulled someth9ng dirty on one of United's players, I've no doubt that his teammates would be unhappy.
Deleted: 'indonesian wizard'
May 10, 2018 18:27:15 GMT
WhatsTheMata: Glad you think it's funny. When we get fucked around by the spells you just deleted you will take me seriously
May 19, 2018 11:57:48 GMT
No.7: Can this thread be unlocked or is it too early? not that i want Jose out now but i think were coming close to that time and want to hear peoples opinions on the subject.
Sept 20, 2018 10:15:25 GMT
cjjagzmoni: Pogba is a good lad minus the showboating..I think at Juventus he had Older players like Pirlo,Chiellini,Marchisio,Bonucci who shout and screams at him so he was more serious at Juve ,We dont have those type of leaders at United to caution him.
Nov 1, 2018 3:36:38 GMT
geo: Cardiff City - Huddersfield Town - Bournemouth - Newcastle United = 12 points. Back in the hunt. Come on.
Dec 19, 2018 17:55:18 GMT
geo: Job done as above - next step, stay unbeaten until we get to the PSG game.
Jan 3, 2019 23:17:42 GMT
theedge: Just discovered this forum. I live in Canada so don't get to many games, but I get to watch all the games live. Last 2 games attended in person: Europa League Final in Stockholm 2017, FA Cup Final 2016. Won the last 11 I've been to. I need to go more often
Apr 1, 2019 23:25:01 GMT
simes: Kazakhstan....well blow me down...been there many a time, not so bad a journey. FC Astana are not a bad outfit, gave Celtic a good run, and the National side beat Scotland. What do you reckon a walk over? BTW its easy to get to, I always use Air Astana.
Aug 30, 2019 14:11:59 GMT
snan1218: Hi,I'm very new member,the Red Devil from Malaysia.
Oct 10, 2019 9:16:40 GMT
shah: Hi i am shah been united fan from birec
Jan 24, 2020 8:33:02 GMT