|Org||England National Team|
|Club as Player||Manchester City|
2019 08 07 Retrieve
[Hudson-Odoi right to reject Bayern for Chelsea] For me, I thought he always had to stay. Especially with Hazard leaving. It has opened a pathway for him. He can become that person. Maybe not to Hazard’s capability, but he has the potential to create a lot of problems for teams in the Premier League. He is an entertainer. He likes to take people on, create chances and score goals. I think, as a fan, when you are sitting there in the stadium you want to be on the edge of your seat
He brings that X factor of what will he do next? So, I think he will be good for Chelsea. Sometimes, for me, age doesn’t matter if you have the maturity of a man, which is something he has. He has learned and the more games he has played in and around the first team, the more experience he gets
I think he has grown into it really well. Now he just needs to keep his consistency level up to show what he is capable of. I love watching both (Ruben) Loftus-Cheek and Callum Hudson-Odoi. I think they are going to have big seasons for Chelsea. You have seen them do it at the end of last year and I think now they will do it on the big stage this year
[Wright-Phillips hopes that comparisons with Hazard do not put undue pressure on the USMNT international, but he is happy that his old club have attracted a player who he has watched for some time] I like the way Pulisic plays. I have kept an eye on him from when I was in the United States. I watched a lot of Dortmund. I like the way he plays; he drifts in and out of games. Nice touches, takes people on and he knows where the net is as well.
So, for Chelsea, they have two exciting wingers. They need to get them on the ball as much as possible. I don’t think you should compare either of them to Hazard. He was in a league of his own when he was there. I feel like they have just got to show the world what they are capable of
2019 08 22 Retrieve
[Sterling hailed as 30-goal forward by Wright-Phillips and ‘a boss’ for handling of racist abuses] He’s outstanding. He’s a delight to watch, always plays with a smile on his face and does what City fans love – works hard, fights for the club and under Pep he’s grown so much. People always talk about his end product and now you just expect him to have 15 assists a season. It’s looking like he could hit 30 goals this season and I hope he does
[He was targeted by a group of supporters during a visit to Chelsea in December 2018, but has seen several high-profile figures suffer similar abuse before and since] Raheem handled it like a boss. Obviously now there’s a bigger platform to speak out so he could get his message and point across to a lot more people whereas when it happened to me social media wasn’t that powerful. The way I dealt with it was to laugh at it and say: ‘How old are you?’ We’re in a different time now and football is multicultural. It’s horrible to see it still in the game, especially for kids growing up now. That’s why the way Raheem dealt with it is powerful because kids follow him and will know it isn’t acceptable. So many people have always been on his back and I’ve never understood why. He’s a family man and you never hear about him messing around. Although his image is outstanding now, I never thought it was bad in the first place.
[Pep Guardiola’s side are considered by many to be the team to beat at home and abroad this term and Wright-Phillips is impressed by the progress his former side have made in a short space of time] I didn’t think it would happen this quickly. What the club have built has been fast in terms of dominating the country, and to a point Europe, even though we fell at a late hurdle last season. People now fear Manchester City and that doesn’t normally happen this quickly.
2019 08 24 Retrieve
[Former Chelsea & Man City winger Wright-Phillips announces his retirement] I was trying to hold on to [my career] for as long as possible. But over the last few weeks, I’ve decided it is time to be official and say: I’m officially retired. I knew growing up it was not something that lasts forever, but after I had my last operation, it fell into place - I was doing stuff with Manchester City and little stuff with TV - and it helped me glide out of it.
2019 11 21 Retrieve
[Shaun Wright-Phillips explains why Arsenal must sack Unai Emery] I think that it’s time for Emery to leave Arsenal, they’ve had a poor start to the season and I think something needs to change. My dad [Arsenal legend Ian Wright] is going to kill me for saying that, but he’s in the jungle so I should be safe!
Growing up, Arsenal were always such a big team, they were dominant and would always give you a tough game. They seem to have lost something of that steel and it makes me sad to see, if I’m being honest. As well as the manager, there are deep issues that need to be addressed
Arsenal have been crying out for a defender for years, someone in the Tony Adams, Rio Ferdinand, John Terry, even Ledley King mould who can shore up their defence
Their defensive signings haven’t addressed any of their issues but you wonder anyway if this type of defender would want to join Arsenal at the moment. They’re not close to winning anything and are going to struggle to keep hold of their best players, like Aubameyang who will want Champions League football, let alone sign new quality players
[Shaun Wright-Phillips says Granit Xhaka was wrong to clash with his own supporters] Granit Xhaka was wrong to react in the way that he did, especially to his own fans. All players have bad games and abuse is part of the game – if you’re getting abuse from your own fans then you are clearly doing something wrong and it is down to you to correct it as a player
Xhaka should have ignored it but sometimes your emotions do get the better of you. One thing is for sure, it’s going to be difficult for him to come back from this
2019 11 22 Retrieve
[Wright-Phillips says Chelsea can catch Liverpool in title race & win Champions League] With the way that Chelsea have started the season, the sky is the limit. I do believe that if they can have a strong festive period, there is no reason that they can’t catch up with Liverpool – it is still a long season ahead.
Saying that, even if they end up finishing in the top four this season, that would still be exceptional. With the new manager coming in and the transfer ban, that would be more than most people would have expected at the start of the season
[Despite being full of praise for the Blues after their superb recent run, Wright-Phillips feels City will ‘come out on top’ when they meet in Manchester this weekend - fuelled by a desire to bounce back from a 3-1 defeat to Liverpool at Anfield on November 10] It will be a tight game on Saturday but City will be too strong for Chelsea and will come out on top. It’s a difficult one to call, both teams are on fire at the minute. Lampard has his team playing brilliant football but this is an absolute must-win game for City after the Liverpool defeat and I think that will fuel them on to victory. Of course, a Chelsea win would be a massive statement for the club, it will show that they can contest with the big boys.
2019 11 23 Retrieve
[Wright-Phillips expecting key men to be retained] Even if City fail to win the Premier League or Champions League this season, they need to stick with Pep. I’m quite a loyal person, so I never quite understand why clubs are so quick to get rid of managers, especially after such recent success.
Pep is one of the best managers in the world, if not the best, and the club need to keep him happy. Looking back to last season, a VAR decision against Tottenham is what stopped his team from progressing in the Champions League; if VAR doesn’t exist and that goal counts it could have been a completely different story last season.
Pep has all the quality to deliver the Champions League for Manchester City, I just hope that he doesn’t walk away at the end of the season on his own accord. He’s evolved all aspects of the club, from the first team to the youth set-up. I think he will want to stick out the challenge for a couple more seasons and deliver the Champions League for City.
[Wright-Phillips is also tipping England international Sterling to stick around in Manchester] There are rumours that Real Madrid have offered Gareth Bale and £70 million in exchange for Raheem Sterling but I don’t think City should even consider it.
Perhaps, if Bale was the same age as Raheem Sterling then I would say OK, but for me, Gareth Bale is coming to the back end of his career now while Raheem has possibly another 10 years at the top.
Regardless, £70 million in this day and age, wouldn’t be nearly enough to pry away a player of Sterling’s quality. Sterling’s performances over the last 4 years have been brilliant and it would require a much more attractive bid for City to consider any sort of deal
City could have looked to sign De Ligt in the summer; I think he would have helped them cope with the loss of [Vincent] Kompany, but he ended up at Juventus.
I don’t think that Man City were necessarily wrong for not replacing Kompany in the summer, they have just been dealt a blow with the injury to [Aymeric] Laporte at the beginning of the season – we probably wouldn’t even be talking about this if Laporte was fit at this point in the season.
Man City should look at replacements in January but they need to locate the right player, they shouldn’t sign a defender for the sake of signing a defender. Ideally, you want a defender with Premier League experience.
The problem is that any player joining Man City from another Premier League club will want to know that he is going to be starting week in week out, which won’t be a guarantee at a club like City. So, I don’t feel like Man City will be able to sign another player from another Premier League team, unless he’s happy to fight or sit on the bench.
2019 12 06 Retrieve
[Shaun Wright-Phillips admits a talented teenager Phil Foden must weigh up his options carefully] Phil Foden will have a big decision on his hands this summer. In any footballer’s head there comes a point where he recognises that he needs to be playing more games. It’s fair to think that if Phil Foden was playing regularly, he has enough quality to be in the England setup. There is a danger that a lack of game time could stagnate his career.
Of course, he’s learning from some amazing players, he’s fought his way through, he’s taken his chances when given but he is at the stage where he needs to kick on to the next level and play consistently
You look at someone like Jadon Sancho, he took the chance of going abroad to get more game time and now he’s possibly up there with the top players, wingers, in the world.
Youth has always been essential to the Man City setup and they are screaming out for a player like Phil Foden to establish himself in the team, but Foden needs to decide whether it is best to wait around or move on elsewhere to establish himself
2020 02 10 Retrieve
[Man City could lose momentum after West Ham postponement] For me, it was always tough if [a match was postponed]. You build up so much emotion, ready to go out and get the victory and that happens. It’s a bit deflating, to be honest with you. I think for me as a player I would rather it [be rescheduled] this weekend.
I think it’s more of ‘where do you put it in?’ For Man City, and the teams up the top or even the teams at the bottom, if you’re getting into your stride at that time, the winter break can almost break it and when you come back you could be doing the opposite things.
It’s a tough one especially when you come back off holiday to keep that momentum going
[Wright-Phillips did, however, go on to concede that the break may have come at the perfect time for Raheem Sterling, who is fighting to get back to full fitness after suffering a hamstring injury] I would have rather just played continuously, to be honest with you, but like you said the game’s a lot different now. Maybe a plus for Sterling with the hamstring issue, it might have come at the perfect time for him to recover and be back fit and ready for it afterwards
[Wright-Phillips says City should be focusing on their own form rather than how well Liverpool are doing] I wouldn’t be worried so much about their form. I think they’re doing well. I just think that the problem they have is Liverpool are doing so well that they’re not even dropping any points - they’re just winning.
If you go back to seasons, like when you had ‘the Invincibles’, they would drop points to a draw, whereas Liverpool are taking those draws and turning those into wins, which is making it even tougher to catch them
I think for every player it’s tough, but with the team and the standard of player that he has, he has to rotate to keep people happy. It is a tough one. Normally it’s never been a problem, so it’s interesting to hear that it is now
2020 05 04 Retrieve
[Wright-Phillips on impact of billionaire owners says Man City success more strategic than Chelsea] From a mentality perspective, Chelsea’s success was instant and City’s was structurally built. From the facilities, the way they’ve bought players. I don’t think they have spent over £60 million on a player. They’re more strategic
Whereas, when Chelsea were doing it, it was just instant and it worked, but it’s something that would never work again
It’s the same if you look at Liverpool where it has been structurally done and they never had a massive takeover. When Jurgen Klopp came in he brought little things in slowly and I think that is a route a lot of clubs will go down from now on if they ever have a takeover
Despite that, Chelsea and Man City both had the same aspirations. They both wanted to win titles and play in the Champions League
I think the mentality has always been the same. All the managers that have been there have always known how big City is as a club, and they’ve all had the dream of doing the things they’re doing now. Sadly, in the past they didn’t have the budget to do it
I think Mark Hughes set the pace. It was incredible to play under him, he came with entertaining football, we played well on the break. I think we were sitting fourth when he got the sack. We couldn’t believe it, but that’s football. When a lot of money comes into the game, a lot of things change. As for them looking forward and changing, I think Man City always had the desire to be where they are now.
2020 05 02 Retrieve
[The former New York Red Bulls winger believes the grassroots system in Europe means it remains some way ahead of soccer in the United States] No. If I’m being totally honest, I don’t think it will for a while because, in Europe, we’ve got a whole grassroots system. But in America, they miss like four to five years of being coached and learning what it takes to be a professional footballer.
You either play in the second tier, which they call the USL, and then from that you jump straight to the MLS. There are no bridges, you’re jumping a lot of gaps to get to the MLS without actually being fine-tuned as a footballer first
[He added on his time in the States] It was a big change physically. American athletes are athletes! “There wasn’t a tactical side to it, there wasn’t any slow build-up play or anything like that. It was just, you attack, I attack, and it’ll be like that for 90 minutes.
When I signed for Red Bulls, I was under Jesse Marsch, Chris Armas, and Denis Hamlett, and they were great coaches, and I’ve worked under some good coaches. The philosophy they had, even in the New York humidity of 80 per cent, was literally press for 90 minutes. You literally just aggressively pressed for 90 minutes
Don’t get me wrong, it works. But if you’ve got a team, for example, like Man City, or what Orlando did to us, and they beat the first press, you’re wide open. So there was never a backup plan. Managers in Europe, if it doesn’t work for the first 15 minutes, would change
Tactically they weren’t as sharp as clubs in Europe. It’s not because they weren’t good enough to change it, they just stayed the way it was in the MLS. For example, Jesse’s gone to Germany now and he’s doing amazingly well.
2020 06 11 Retrieve
[Shaun Wright-Phillips says Sergio Aguero is the most pivotal signing in Manchester City’s recent history] Yes, I would definitely 100% have to say Serge. Not many foreign players come in and hit the ground running as well as he has done, and consistently done it for eight or nine years. With injuries as well. He’s never really had a season without a few weeks out, he has been out through injuries and he still always races for the Golden Boot. He shows up in all the big games. I think that he is definitely the most pivotal man
I had this conversation with my mate to the other day, and we both thought ‘who can you actually sign to replace him?’. There are a lot of great strikers out there, but are they going to come in and do what he has done for the last 10 years? Gabriel Jesus knows how to play his role and how to score the goals, so at the moment he is the natural replacement, and he knows the City way - but for somebody to come in and fill those big shoes, it’s a lot of pressure. Maybe Lewandowski, but he is getting on now.
2020 06 11b Retrieve
[Shaun Wright-Phillips says Werner’s goals and Ziyech’s flair make Chelsea contenders] I think Lamps has done tremendously there, he’s a great player. He is hungry for goals and it gives Lamps the option there, and with Ziyech in there, Chelsea’s front three is looking very strong. As you can see, he’s having a nice mix of maturity and young talent, and it’s very hard to go wrong with that
[Wright-Phillips added on Ziyech] He brings that attacking flair, he scores goals and he creates goals. We have seen him do it in the Champions League, and now other wingers and other midfielders have to up their game because there is a lot of competition there. Having a lot of players on top of their game can only be a good thing for Lamps for and for Chelsea
[When asked if he sees Chelsea challenging for the Premier League crown] Yes, definitely. I think next year if he gets the players that he wants and get his team exactly as he wants it, then 100%. They are still challenging for the Champions League spots now, so it’s only one step further forward, and that is challenging against Man City and Liverpool, who have run away with it this year