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There's Only One Darren Fletcher!
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Who is the quickest player you've worked with? Usain Bolt, athlete
We've had a lot of quick players here. If you're talking over certain distances, then Gary Pallister would have taken some beating in a sprint. I think he was the quickest in the 100 metres. But speed in football isn't about running 100 metres on a football pitch. So you've also got to consider Kanchelskis, Ronaldo, Giggs, Cole, Paul Parker - he was very, very quick - Anderson, Ferdinand, Lee Sharpe as a young kid was quick. Paul Ince was very quick. So that group of players would be in it, but over 100m, Pallister would have beaten any of them. In a football sense, I'd say Kanchelskis and Giggs.

Has Green Bay Packers coach Vince Lombardi been an influence on your career? Ed O'Brien, guitarist (Radiohead)

He hasn't been an influence on my career, as I only read a book about him for the first time about ten years ago. But I was inspired by him when I read it, ‘When Pride Still Mattered' (by David Maraniss), because I thought I was reading about myself! Everything he did, where he started from, it all had echoes in my own life. When I started in management, people said, ‘What the hell are you going to East Stirling for?' At the time I said. ‘You've got to start somewhere.' I asked Ally MacLeod, my manager at the time, for advice on it and he said, ‘Look Alec, you only need to be out of this game for two minutes and you're forgotten. Don't let yourself be forgotten. When a job comes along, take it.' So Vince Lombardi was driving up to become coach of Green Bay Packers and there were four feet icicles dropping off the road, it was that cold up in Wisconsin, and his wife said to him, ‘What the hell are we doing going up here?' Nobody had heard of the Packers but they went on to win two Superbowls under Lombardi. When he was dying, three former American presidents went to see him, Frank Sinatra went to see him… amazing. When you read what some of his former players wrote about him, you realise what a special person he was.


How do you account for the fact that so many big names in football, including Matt Busby, Bill Shankly and George Graham all came from within a few miles of each other? Harold Riley, artist
I think the communities and environments they came from created a sense of loyalty and determination. It's particularly true of mining areas. The mining community is probably the most devastated part of life in Great Britain's industrial history, for its loss of jobs and the loss of lives in such a perilous vocation. Anyone who grows up in that situation tries to fight their way out of. Football was a great denominator as far as that was concerned. The same goes for boxing – a lot of great boxers came from that area too.

You seem to be the object of more public speculation and criticism than any other manager has ever had before. How does it affect you? Simon Le Bon, singer (Duran Duran)
I think it's part of the job when you're manager of Manchester United. It's not just me, either. Look at the criticism Ronaldo gets, the best player in the world. He only has to have half a bad game and he's slaughtered. Cantona got it, he got slaughtered for ages. You see the criticism that Gary Neville gets because he's a dyed-in-the-wool Manchester United man. You have to accept it's part of the package. It doesn't bother me one bit.

Sir Alex, as the greatest manager of all time, is it hard to be humble? Ian Brown, singer (solo, Stone Roses)
I think the important thing is just to keep you feet on the ground. I have a common sense attitude to life. My wife cringes every time someone calls me Sir Alex or calls her Lady Cathy. She says to me, “I don't know why you accepted it in the first place!†So your family keep your feet on the ground. I've never been the type to get carried away with it anyway, so it's easy for me.

Who do you think is the best manager in the Premier League in terms of man-management and making the most of the resources available to him? Eamonn Holmes, TV presenter
Oh, that's a belter, that question. Brucey's done a great job with his resources… Martin O'Neill has done well with his… Arsene Wenger… it's difficult to assess Wenger because he spends a lot of Arsenal's money on youth players and their salaries instead of spending it on a big player. David Moyes has done fantastically well. I'll go for him, David Moyes, definitely.

What was the harder decision - leaving out Jim Leighton in 1990 or Park for last year's Champions League final in Moscow? Pete Boyle, supporter and songster
Ji-sung Park, without doubt. Once I'd made my mind up about the starting XI, my subs had to protect the midfield, the back four and the forward line. I felt if you're going to put a forward on in the European Cup final, you need somebody who can make an impact, someone whocan get you a goal. That's the area of his game that if Ji could improve, he'd be one of the best players in the team. So that was the reason I left him out. I felt terrible about it, but after the game his parents were great towards me, they were really nice.

What's the most amazing thing you've ever seen in training? Dominic Monaghan, actor (Lost, Lord of the Rings)
The most amazing thing is Paul Scholes, in the morning, when a player goes to have a pee at the side of the training pitch and he fires balls from 40 yards right on top of their head! He's unbelievable. He got John O'Shea about two weeks ago, right on the shoulder, while he was having a pee. He got Gary Neville right in the head and Neville chased him across the pitch!

As a knight of the realm yourself, what more does Ryan Giggs have to do to become a ‘Sir'? Patrick Kielty, comedian
Good question! Especially when you consider how the English rugby team, when they won three or four matches to win the World Cup, were given knighthoods and MBEs. Ryan Giggs has performed like a star for 20 years in the Premier League, going up and down that touchline. He's won 10 Premier League medals, I hope it's 11 this year, and two European Cups and what has he got, an MBE? It doesn't seem right. Longevity must surely surpass short-term success.

Who would you co-star with in a film, if you had the chance? Ken Doherty, snooker player
If you go back to the old movies, then I'd say Spencer Tracy. I thought he was fabulous. John Wayne… everybody loved John Wayne. Present day? Sean Connery, without a doubt.
 

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Sownak27 said:
What's the most amazing thing you've ever seen in training? Dominic Monaghan, actor (Lost, Lord of the Rings)
The most amazing thing is Paul Scholes, in the morning, when a player goes to have a pee at the side of the training pitch and he fires balls from 40 yards right on top of their head! He's unbelievable. He got John O'Shea about two weeks ago, right on the shoulder, while he was having a pee. He got Gary Neville right in the head and Neville chased him across the pitch!

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I actually laughed out loud. :D
 
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