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Name Denis Irwin
Gender Male
Ethnic xxxx
Job xxxx Footballer
Desc One of the best defenders to have graced the Premier League, Irwin was the recipient of one of the highest forms of praise from Ferguson who once stated that the Irishman was one of the only players guaranteed a spot in his all-time best Man United XI

Affiliation

Org xxxx National Team
Club as Player Manchester United
  xxxx

2016 02 17 Retrieve

[Quote on Cafu] What a nightmare to play against. The last thing you need is an overlapping full-back, creating two-versus-one situations against you. He’d bomb on for 90 minutes and wouldn’t give you ?a minute’s peace. [. . .] Although Cafu was a fantastic attacking threat, he was also a very capable defender. Never seemed to age

2016 02 18 Retrieve

[Quotes on Paul Gascoigne] A player of immense talent. Gazza wasn’t the quickest, but he was so creative and physical that he could beat his man. On ability alone England have never had a more gifted midfield player. Had it not been for his problems, who knows what he could have achieved?

2016 03 24 Retrieve

[on Alan Shearer] Top player. Always very difficult to play against. Great goalscorer, strong in the air and could hold the ball up

2019 09 05 Retrieve

[Denis Irwin says Paul Pogba and his fearlessness are crucial to Manchester United’s success] There’s not too many players of Paul’s quality. He’s got plenty of players in front of him who have got great pace and I think he’s got the understanding of being able to pick a great pass. We need consistency out of him sometimes but going forward now and particularly where we’ve started dominating games he’s going to be a big, big player for us. I think every team needs a risk taker but I look at him and think he’s the one that can unlock doors. We’ve created enough chances to win games so he’s going to be vitally important for us

[United have since drawn twice and suffered a shock loss at home to Crystal Palace to already be seven points off the pace] I understand that we’ve only picked two points up from three games but it feels like we should have a lot more. We might have to accept a little bit of patience and we might not challenge the top two this year but certainly we need to be up there and better than last year.

2019 09 05b Retrieve

[Denis Irwin says Aaron Wan-Bissaka has been a big plus for Manchester United] I saw him play for [Crystal] Palace quite a bit last year, and he only played for the Palace first team for 15 months. He spent [his younger] years as a right winger, so what surprises me is how good he is defensively. Not just the tackling, because we saw that last year and in the first four games of this season, but the positions he takes up are very good. You always worry about a winger when they transform into a full-back, it can take them a while to get used to that. He seems really good at that. Obviously he’s a young lad and has a lot to learn yet, but he’s been a real plus. Last year we conceded 54 goals in 38 games. That’s not really Manchester United, we’ve always been good defensively. We need to strengthen, which we have done, and we need to keep more clean sheets

[Irwin said of the Wales international] Daniel James’s a player that can play on both wings and can cut in on his left and right. I think we’ve seen that already. He’s not afraid to run at players with his pace and you always want players like that to chip in with goals, but to score three in four is a really great start for him. Some of the balls he puts in, particularly in the latter stages against Southampton last Saturday, were a joy to watch. He’s been brilliant

2019 09 27 Retrieve

[Denis Irwin says Harry Maguire, Daniel James and Aaron Wan-Bissaka have already proved to be shrewd additions for Manchester United] Aaron-Wan Bissaka and Daniel James slotted in really well. Obviously he [Solskjaer] bought Maguire just before the first game of the season and you could near enough say they’ve been our three best players so far. I know it’s only early but they look like three really good signings. I think we needed a real strong centre-half, we’ve got that, needed a bit of pace as well, got that in Daniel James on either wing, and it looks like Aaron has slotted in unbelievably well. The three signings have been great. There was always going to be players going out, we’ve got a big squad. I still think there’s things to be done. We’re in a stage where it was Ole’s first pre-season and opportunity to buy players. I think we’ve seen a lot of positives from that. January, we’ll see where we are and obviously next close season is a big time for us. I think we’re taking steps in the right direction

When you play for a top club who are going to be on the ball a lot you’ve got to be able to defend, in my day first and foremost you had to be able to defend because you always came up against wingers. Firstly as a full-back you’ve got to be athletic, you’ve got to be very comfortable on the ball and you’ve got to be able to join in on the attack on the outside. With everything else down the middle it’s a different avenue of attacking and it’s often the full-back providing that, so you see full-backs now costing £50m is the norm and you’ll probably see that rising. They’ve still got to be able to defend first and foremost because that’s your job, but certainly you’re encouraged to go forward a lot more and they’re a vital part of an attacking force now. The modern full-back has to be able to run, has to be able to go forward, has to be able to cross and even every now and then has to contribute to the goal scoring stakes

2020 05 26 Retrieve

[Will Man Utd’s Treble ever be repeated?] When we won it, I think it was a relief, because we’d been trying for four or five years. In 1999 we’d gone through a tough group stage and really tough quarter-finals and semi-finals against Inter and Juventus. In the final we came up against a great Bayern side. We didn’t play well but battled away and got the luck we deserved. It was an incredible 10 days, winning the Premier League, the FA Cup and then finishing off with the Champions League. Will it ever be done again? Every now and again someone comes close, and I think that shows how hard it is to win them all in one season. I’m just glad we’ve still got that honour

[United certainly did things the hard way when it came to completing their Treble] That night we were missing our two best players in Keano and Scholesy. That was a huge handicap for us. You’re missing your driving force, your cleaner-upper in midfield, in Roy, and Scholesy was the perfect team-mate, who could create and score. So the manager had to re-jig the whole team, and we didn’t know what the side would be. Teddy played really well when he came on in the FA Cup final, and had a chance of playing. David May played in that final too and had a chance of starting, with Ronny Johnsen going into midfield. So the manager had a dilemma, but it worked out in the end, moving Becks into the middle, bringing Nicky Butt in, putting Jesper Blomqvist on the left and Giggsy on the right

But it was pure desire and drive that got us there – and we knew we could score. It was a great night with a great group of lads, and a huge squad effort the whole season. You don’t just need a fantastic side, you need a really good back-up as well, which is what got us over the line

2020 06 01 Retrieve

[Denis Irwin says All of Solskjaer’s signings ‘have been great’] I think pre-Christmas it was up and down. The new signings have been great, there’s no doubt about that, every single one of them. Wan-Bissaka has been brilliant, Maguire, Daniel James, but in particular the signing in January of Fernandes has really kicked the club on. He gives the team a bit more of a risk factor, a bit more going forward, and I think that’s improved an awful lot. Also, I think within them 11 games I think there were nine clean sheets, so I think the defence has come on strong as well

You just don’t know, hopefully football will get up and running. You always get strange results on the back of early season [matches] but hopefully Manchester United will keep going and get up into that Champions League position. It’s not easy and we need to keep going, simple as that - but the signings have been great and the transformation, I suppose from January, has been there to see

2020 06 22 Retrieve

[Denis Irwin says Solskjaer will do amazing job at Man Utd] I had six, seven years with Ole and he was very studious. He was very involved in the game. It’s a well-known fact that when he was sub he used to take it all in and try to work on a defender’s weaknesses when he went on. A highly intelligent man and I think he knows what he wants. I’m not surprised at all that he went into management. It was tough taking over Manchester United. He went on an incredible run when he took over and this year is his first year with a pre-season. I think he’s signed some great players, particularly [Bruno] Fernandes in the January window. Pre-Christmas I think we were up and down a little bit, but then we went on a run where we have really got ourselves challenging for that European spot. I think Ole will do an amazing job

They [any manager] are under so much pressure. There is so much money involved in the Premier League and teams like us want to be up there, winning titles and certainly being in the Champions League. There is so much pressure on managers these days, it’s like a revolving door. But Ole knows the history of the club, he knows what the club is all about. He’s tried to bring everybody back together as more of a unit as much as possible and I think we’re heading in the right direction. You need to be thick-skinned, but the amount of pressure managers are under is incredible