Manchester United legend Eric Cantona has revealed that ‘ghosts of the past’ helped inspire him to greatness at Old Trafford, feeding off the energy of the club’s storied history.
Cantona moved from Leeds to United in late 1992 after helping the Yorkshire club claim the final league title of the pre-Premier League era, before crossing the divide of one of the country’s fiercest rivalries. He was already an established France international but had found himself needing to start afresh in England after disciplinary issues had ended his club career back home.
The enigmatic star quickly went on to pave the way for a generation of success at Manchester United, proving to be a catalytic figure during early Premier League dominance, whilst also serving as a mentor-type figure to a new generation of home-grown talent.
Cantona joined a United side under immense pressure to deliver. The club hadn’t won a league title since 1967 and were pipped by his Leeds side at the end of the 1991/92 season.
Plenty of big names had struggled to meet the expectations, but Cantona found the historic success of previous eras to be a boost rather than something that would paralyse him with fear.
“I felt the step [from Leeds] and I also felt the ghosts of the past of Manchester United. Sometimes, the ghosts of the past, some players, it can paralyse them. But, for me, it was helpful. I felt the energy of the past and it made me even stronger,” he explained on BT Sport’s What I Wore.
Cantona soon came to embody success at Old Trafford and was the latest in what was already then a growing list of iconic players to have worn the number seven shirt.
“When I arrived in Manchester, Bryan Robson was number seven. Then I started to play with the number seven because Bryan Robson was…old, too old,” he said.
“I love this number. The number I have on the back is important to how I feel. If I don’t feel good, I cannot play well. When I wore this shirt for the first time, it was like I’d had it forever.”
Cantona also addressed his goal celebrations, insisting none were ever rehearsed or pre-planned, allowing the ‘unique’ moment to dictate his reaction every time.
“I never thought, before games, about celebrations,” he said. “I never celebrated a goal in the same way because it’s always a special and unique moment. Sometimes now, you see players, they practice or have a t-shirt under their shirt every time.
“It depends on the goal, the meaning of the goal, if it’s the first minute of the game, the last minute of the game. It depends on the pressure, the energy…everything. I never thought about it. I did it just like this [clicks fingers], very spontaneous.”
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Nottingham Forest announce signing of Andre Ayew
Nottingham Forest have confirmed the signing of free agent Andre Ayew despite interest from Everton.
The forward has been heavily linked with a move to the Toffees in recent days, but Forest have swooped in to sign the Ghanian.
Speaking to the club’s official website after finalising the move, the forward said: “It’s a great feeling to sign for Nottingham Forest.
“I know how big the club is and I know how much the club means to the city and the fanbase. It’s always been difficult whenever I’ve played against Forest and at The City Ground and I love the stadium.
“Steve Cooper is someone who knows me very well and knows how to work with me both on and off the pitch. We have a strong relationship, he’s a special coach and a special human being and someone who I really look up to.”
“I know what I can bring to the team, I’m ready to give my all and make sure that we are able to stay in the Premier League.”
Wolves vs Liverpool – Premier League: TV channel, team news, lineups & prediction
Liverpool will be looking to make a statement with a Premier League trip to Wolves this weekend, having been dumped out of the FA Cup by Brighton last Sunday.
Jurgen Klopp’s side are without a league win in their last three attempts and have slipped as low as ninth in the table. Depending on what Chelsea do against Fulham on Friday night, the Reds could be 10th by the time they kick-off at Wolves.
Wolves are still yet to really find their groove under Julen Lopetegui, although at least remain out of the relegation zone on goal difference for the time being.
Wolves vs Liverpool H2H Results (Last Five Games)
Current Form (Last Five Premier League Games)
Wolves team news
Wolves have no new injury concerns ahead of this one, with Pedro Neto, Boubacar Traore, Sasa Kalajdzic and Chiquinho all still sidelined.
Wolves predicted lineup (4-2-3-1): Sa; Semedo, Collins, Kilman, Bueno; Neves, Nunes; Traore, Sarabia, Hwang; Jimenez.
Liverpool team news
Centre-back Ibrahima Konate is the latest Liverpool player to join the injury list, ruled out until at least mid-February with a hamstring problem.
Virgil van Dijk is also still out, as are Roberto Firmino, Luis Diaz and Diogo Jota. Arthur Melo is making progress but is a couple of weeks away from resuming training.
Liverpool predicted lineup (4-3-3): Alisson; Alexander-Arnold, Matip, Gomez, Robertson; Henderson, Fabinho, Thiago; Salah, Nunez, Gakpo.
It’s certainly feasible that Wolves could continue to pile the misery on Liverpool.
The Reds had beaten Wolves in seven consecutive meetings until a recent FA Cup tie ended in 2-2 draw at Anfield. It was then only a single goal that decided the replay in the Merseysiders’ favour.
Prediction: Wolves 1-1 Liverpool
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