Man United fan Usain Bolt tells TNP: Bring back Alex Ferguson
Sprint superstar and Manchester United fan Usain Bolt tells David Lee at Puma's shoe launch in New York last week why he's not a fan of Louis van Gaal, his biggest fear and why he's slow at just about everything else.
How's your preparation for the upcoming season?
USAIN BOLT: I've been training since October, it's been smooth sailing so far, my doctor told me I'm in great shape so that's nice to hear.
What is your mentality like going into competitions?
It's all about the work I put in. When I train hard, I'm in great shape and then I'm confident I'm always going to win. I'm assured that when I'm at my best, it's going to be hard to beat me.
You're a big football fan, how about a try in the pros?
I always wanted to play for Sir Alex Ferguson as a left-footed winger but, now that he's left, so I'm not so fond of playing for Manchester United. They are still my favourite team, of course.
The other day I did a shoot with Sergio Aguero, from Man City and an ambassador of Puma. It was so cold and I was like, if this is what I've got to play in, I'm not going to play!
What do you think about United's season, so far?
I'm surprised we are this close to the top, actually. I'm surprised we are still in the top four. We haven't been impressive all season, we are just getting by.
Most of the matches we are just squeezing a draw, like the other day against West Ham, or if we win, we barely make it.
This system we have now is just not good for United. I think we need to change the system but the coach says either you go along or you leave.
Hopefully, we can get players who can actually play in the system, so we'll see how it works out.
Personally, I think Alex Ferguson will have to come out of retirement.
So you're not a big fan of Louis van Gaal then?
The way he talks, it doesn't sound like he's a guy you can talk to. For me, if you are going to implement a style I think you first have to work out if a team can handle it.
I don't think this passing method that he has is ever going to work for United. Unless he changes all the players. He's trying to break down teams with this passing game, but United are not that team.
If we had Giggs and Scholes still both in the middle, then it could be good. Mata is good but he's too small. Rooney's good but he plays a bit slow and, as a midfielder, you've got to really move quickly. Like (Eden) Hazard or some of the players for Arsenal.
You are unfazed running for gold in front of thousands. Is there anything you're afraid of?
Snakes and spiders terrify me. I also used to believe in ghosts when I was a kid and I would get scared, but not any more.
Is there anything you dislike about your body?
I am not proud of my toes. They are not very pretty. Other than my toes, I feel good about my body. My arms and my abs are particularly nice.
What's a typical day of training?
We train every weekday, we train on Saturdays, too, but I'm not a big fan, so I go sometimes. I hate it.
Weights room one-and-a-half hours, running two-and-a-half hours of 300m intervals, core work an hour, so five to six hours a day.
Does it get harder as you get older?
I always say to myself, 'As I get older, it's going to get tough', but watching all the athletes compete and doing good gives me motivation.
My coach says, 'You are going to do great as long as you work hard, you are not old'. So I'm 28 now, a great age, so all I have to do is just put the work in and I'll be great. I'm not worried.
Do you think more can be done to fight drug abuse in your sport?
I definitely think so. I think in Jamaica they are doing everything they know - seven hours every three months educating people on drug issues, so I think they are doing a pretty good job.
The government is on board now, things are working out. This year alone, I've gone for testing three times already. If I were to count over the season itself, then probably 15, 16 times.
How did you get to where you are today?
I never think limitations, no one thought I would be fast because they said I was too tall, so I would be limited in the 100.
For me, it's something you want, it's all about what you want in life. A lot of people fail and then they just give up. Sometimes, they just need to work.
If I was like, that I would probably stop because when I got started, I was always getting injured because of my scoliosis (a condition that causes curvature of the spine) and it took me a while to figure out this was my main problem, this was why I was always injured.
If I had stopped when I was getting injured all the time, you probably wouldn't be seeing the greatest... For me it's all about determination, and figuring out how to get better.
Who are your top three sporting heroes?
Muhammad Ali, Michael Jordan and Michael Johnson.
Is the world's fastest man slow in anything?
Everything else. This is not even a joke, I swear. I'm really lazy and laid-back, so I really just chill and not do anything else.
I really don't do anything fast except run. People ask me how it's even possible. I walk slow, I do everything slow, I just run fast.
Apart from running, football and cricket, what else are you good at?
I can't play golf, I don't have the patience. I can't play tennis. Table tennis not so much, I'm okay.
I'm really good at badminton and pretty good at volleyball. I don't really play many other sports.
What do you look for in a life partner?
It's all about honesty and patience, someone who can laugh with me. That's one of my biggest things, someone who can always laugh about anything and everything, It's always a big, big thing. and heart, heart, put that in there.
- David's trip to New York is sponsored by Puma. Puma Ignite features a brand new foam technology that makes it Puma's most responsive running shoe. Ignite Foam is a proprietary foam that provides high-energy return, comfort and optimal durability. Strategically placed in the heel of the shoe is ForEverFoam, a revolutionary innovation that gives the shoe maximum durability.
By the numbers
6: Usain Bolt has won six Olympic gold medals and eight World Championship titles. He will be hoping to add to that at this August's World Athletics Championships in Beijing's Bird's Nest Stadium, where he broke the 100m and 200m world records seven years ago.
"I can’t play golf, I don’t have the patience. I can’t play tennis. Table tennis not so much, I’m okay. I’m really good at badminton and pretty good at volleyball. I don’t really play many other sports. "
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Louis van Gaal is failing at Old Trafford
David Moyes suddenly seems to be everywhere. His beaming grin dazzles in magazine articles and profile features.
He’s on a salvage operation at Real Socieded. He’s resurrecting his reputation. And it’s a real pain for Louis van Gaal.
When Real Socieded defeated Barcelona a few weeks ago, Moyes insisted he had sent a reminder of his dogged abilities in a dugout. But he sent another, sneakier message to Manchester United and he knew it.
The only real differences between Moyes and van Gaal are pay grade, pedigree and panache, says Neil Humphreys. The Scotsman had less of the first two, but his United sides had more of the latter.
Against all odds, van Gaal has made Moyes a better man.
Had Moyes escaped last season’s guillotine, a victory would surely be demanded at Swansea tonight. Under van Gaal, disgruntled United followers might begrudgingly accept a draw.
Through his erratic decision-making and buffoonish press conferences, van Gaal has pulled the goalposts closer. He has lowered expectations and hoodwinked his own paying customers.
He pleads poverty one minute and castigates the stupidity of British footballers the next.
English Premier League players are either too dim-witted to grasp his instructions or the squad he inherited from Moyes were too antiquated for his revolutionary ideas.
But the laboured victory against Preston in the FA Cup once again underscored the belief that it’s not so much the tools as it is the eccentric craftsman.
The ongoing muddle is mostly of van Gaal’s making.
Read the full report in our print edition on Feb 21. Subscribe to The New Paper, now available in print and digital, at http://bit.ly/tnpeshop.