pace of matches for us, everything sticks with him and he never wastes a pass. They’re still both fantastic, world-class players and they’re crucially important to the squad.
The three of you are all in your midthirties, yet can comfortably still cut it at the top; how do you keep going?
We keep playing because United keep asking us to! There’s still an opportunity for us here and we want to keep winning season upon season. If the club told us to leave, we’d leave. Playing for this club is the best thing in the world and we’ve been doing it for a long time now. Why would we want it to stop? We still feel as though there are contributions to be made on and off the pitch – and so does the manager, which is the most important thing.
How key has Sir Alex’s role been in your longevity?
The boss is the reason we’re still at the club – and the reason we were given an opportunity in the first place. He promoted youth all those years back, sorted out the youth set-up and has pushed it ever since. Young players have always broken through and he’s been the key to us being here so long; he’s in control. We’re soldiers, if you like, and we’re happy to do a job that makes him want to keep us here.
The other question... Do you hope to be involved in next summer's World Cup?
I’m not looking at an England return, to be honest. The time’s probably come for Glen Johnson or Wes Brown now – they’ve done very well and I’d think they’re the first-choice players. It doesn’t mean I’d turn down the opportunity if it came, but it’s not something I’m focusing on.