Retired United forward Dwight Yorke opened up to Boardroom about United’s current unbeaten run, whether it’s a trophy-winning year, and Sir Alex Ferguson’s managerial impact.
It’s a continuous rebuilding period for Manchester United. But for the first time in a while, the stars are aligning for the storied club. Multiple players are in great form, the manager seems to have control of the dressing room, and most importantly, this could be the year the Red Devils finally break their trophy-less drought.
Ex-United forward Dwight Yorke is buzzing with confidence, and the Trinidadian and Tobagonian former footballer sat down with Boardroom to discuss the sort of signings United need to make during this January transfer window, one player who is experiencing a resurgence, and more.
Yorke spoke with Boardroom through Marriott Bonvoy, which is entering its fourth year in partnership with United. The partnership and the Marriott Bonvoy Moments platform allows for qualifying members to bid on prizes like an overnight stay in Old Trafford, pitch-level access, and a chance to travel to Barcelona with the team.
VINCIANE NGOMSI: What do you think is Man United’s top priority — player or position — during this winter transfer window?
DWIGHT YORKE: I think it’s obviously well-documented that they’re looking for a [No.] 9. Someone in that iconic position to sort of strengthen the offense because of the injuries to [Anthony] Martial. Defensively, they’re fine. The right-back position is probably an issue, but [Aaron] Wan-Bissaka has been given a few opportunities for a turnaround.
They’ve always had a decent squad to compete with, it’s just results haven’t gone our way and we certainly haven’t been able to win any major trophies. At the moment, United are doing great and are on an unbeaten run. It’s no longer if we were going to win those games. But, I think we’ll have a real assessment in the coming weeks playing the top two teams in the Manchester Derby this weekend and Arsenal after that. I think that will give an idea of where United are and what they need to improve. It’s not about bringing the players, that’s not the problem. It’s about bringing in the right people that can take them forward.
VN: You spent four years at Old Trafford, making 96 appearances and scoring 48 goals for United. What would you say is your favorite memory while playing for United?
DY: Definitely the historic 1998-99 Treble season. It’s never been done before by any British team and it’s the biggest moment in club history. It’s hard to look beyond the 1999 team because of what we achieved and to be a part of that historical moment in club history is quite unique.
VN: While this current squad aren’t in Treble contention, they have turned things around in recent months. Marcus Rashford always seems to find the back of the net and United are in fourth place in the domestic title race (35), tied with Newcastle and four points behind City (39). Is this a team that can win a trophy by the end of the season?
DY: What we are seeing now under the Erik ten Hag regime is a lot more consistency. They are more competitive in games, but we all know it’s not as easy as that. The Premier League is much harder to attain because we are a few points behind City. What we are seeing right now is a huge turnaround for Rashford and we are seeing what he was always capable of doing. If you’re a United fan, you are really optimistic.
VN: You inked a two-year deal to become manager of A-League men’s club Macarthur FC in South Western Sydney, Australia in May 2022. Having been mentored by arguably one of the best in European football, what’s the one piece of advice you learned from Sir Alex Ferguson that you’ll impart on your own players?
DY: He told me: ‘Look, you know the game and you’ve played the game at the top level — you have to do things your way. You can take some things on what to do and what not to do, but ultimately your ideas have to resonate.’ I think that’s one of the wisest things I’ve taken away from one of the many, many conversations I’ve had with him. You have to take shape of your own destiny.
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