I don’t think Manny Pacquiao will be quaking in his boots – it was more handbags at dawn. We always used to think of Arsene Wenger as ‘The Professor’ – the coolest customer – but now he’s as mad as the rest of them. It’s so intense in that technical area; I know what my dad goes through.
The only way [you can see them not winning] is if they pick up injuries to their best players. From a purely neutral point of view, we want someone to knock them off their stride, and I think Manchester City are the only side that could challenge them.
If you lose the best player in the league, it’s going to affect you [Luis Suarez]. Balotelli has come in and not done well, which hasn’t surprised me. I didn’t really see him fitting in there because you’re going from a player who works extremely hard [Suarez], to somebody who is very laidback and plays at his own tempo.
It’s not rocket science to think Di Maria will be good, same goes for Costa. But I’ve also been impressed by the two forwards at West Ham: Diafra Sakho and Enner Valencia. Plus, Aaron Cresswell, the left-back they signed from Ipswich, has done really well. Three great signings.
They’re going to concede goals with that back four or five. Van Gaal’s biggest problem is finding the next Vidic or Ferdinand.
I can’t see Newcastle going down. Pardew’s having a tough time and the crowd have turned on him, but if he can get through this, he’ll be able to get through anything as a manager. I wouldn’t say I’m a big friend of Mike Ashley, but one thing I know is the more people tell him to do something, the more he’ll do another. A lot of chairmen would’ve bowed to the pressure by now, but he’s clearly got faith in Pardew, and in the current climate of sacking managers, you’ve got to respect him for that.