Former Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke was hosted by Apollo Tyres as part of their matchday program “Match Day with Yorkie”. Yorke discussed the team’s current stature and also answered several questions posed by the fans.
The 48-year-old started off by stating that he is luckily fine during these unprecedented times and is laying low in Dubai where the virus is under control at the moment. He then proceeded to take on the questions submitted by the fans.
Q. How did Sir Alex Ferguson manage to motivate the players?
DY: “Well, it was an honor to play for Manchester United and Sir Alex Ferguson, of course. When I joined the club, I was not sure whether I fit in. The weight and expectations were massive. Sir Alex was good at motivating the players through his team talk and his team selection as well,”
“He made me feel 10-feet tall and invincible during his first talk with me. He said that I was not only representing the club, but also the fans. He was a father figure to us and we would approach him with the issues off the field as well,”
Q. One player from the current team that you would have loved to play with?
DY: “Would be Marcus Rashford. He’s exceptionally talented and intelligent. Apart from him, Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba are right up there. Those are the players I’d like to call “ball-players”. I categorized myself as a “ball-player” during my time at the club. But, if I have to choose one, it would be Marcus Rashford,”
Q Memories from your first match?
DY: “Well, I joined United in 1998 on deadline day. We were playing West Ham away on Saturday and I had just trained with the team for an hour on Friday. I travelled with the team and we went on to draw that game. There was a lot of stuff happening behind the scenes so the focus was not on me,”
“At my home debut, against Charlton, I managed to score two goals and that kick-started my career at Old Trafford,”
Q How far do you think that the club needs to go for this season to be called successful?
DY: “We were not in a good position six months ago. Now, a champions league spot looks possible with Leicester struggling and Chelsea and Wolves up close, it also depends on how the Manchester City’s Champions League ban verdict turns out,”
“The semi-final against Chelsea in the FA Cup will not be a cakewalk and there is still a long way to go. The manager knows that trophies are important. Momentum is building and I haven’t felt this excited about a Manchester United side in three years!”
Q. How do Bruno Fernandes and Paul Pogba complement each other on the pitch?
DY: “There’s no secret about Bruno Fernandes. He’s come in and made an immediate impact on the team. He’s come and hit the ground running. There were rumours initially whether Bruno and Pogba would be able to play together, now that’s a load of nonsense,”
“Manchester United have been missing attacking-minded midfielders for a while such as Paul Scholes and Roy Keane who always looked to play the ball forward,”
Q. Now among several promotions of young players, Ethan Laird is the latest name to be drafted into the first team. Is this Ole Gunnar’s Strategy to get back to the top?
DY: “Class of 92′ is a prime example. The reserve players were not being looked onto by the earlier managers in the past few years. If such players are neglected, there won’t be much success. I’m delighted that the young players are getting chances, although not all would be able to make a name, that’s just not possible,”
Q. Did you receive the hair-dryer treatment from Sir Alex Ferguson?
DY: (Laughs) “I was a prime suspect. I got it a few times, it was certainly not pleasant. I felt the full brunt of the hair-dryer. Our kitman Albert would come and say, “Yorkie, gaffer wants to see you,” and after that, the panic antenna would go on,”
Q. Biggest thing you missed after leaving Manchester United
DY: “When you leave, there’s something that comes over you. My time at the club was undoubtedly the best years I had in my career. I’ll never forget the day when Sir Alex told me that he had accepted a bid from Blackburn Rovers. He said that the door will always be open for you and I knew that he meant every word,”
“In 2006, when I was done playing in the World Cup and returned to England, I called the gaffer to ask if I can come back to train. When I returned, my jersey was hanging from the same spot and I was training with the likes of a young Cristiano Ronaldo. No other club would bring back an ex-player like that,”