John O’Shea may have played in virtually every position in the starting eleven, but United’s Mr Versatile insists there is only one role he really relishes and that’s simply being a Red.
And having secured his future with the club until 2012, the Irishman tells United Review that he is ready and willing to step in wherever and whenever required…
You recently extended your contract with the club – how easier a decision was that to make?
Very easy. When you look at the success we’ve had and the talented squad we’ve got, it bodes very well for the future and it’s something I wanted to be a part of. Of course, I’d like to be playing more games, but at the same time I’m involved in all the matches and I know that I will get my chance. So it never crossed my mind about leaving. Luckily the club wanted me to stay and the contract was sorted out nice and quickly.
What are your ambitions for the coming few years - do you want to nail down one position?
That would be lovely, but I also know that one of the main reasons I’ve played so many games for United is because I can play in so many different positions. If it happens, then great, but the manager knows I can do a job anywhere across the back four and in midfield, so there are a few slots that I’m available for. Louis Saha once said to me he couldn’t really think of many players who could play in so many different positions so it’s a positive thing and I’m always ready whenever the manager needs me.
Have you played more or less than you hoped so far this season?
As a player you always want to play every match, but when you look at the squad we’ve got you know that the manager has a lot of options and sometimes you won’t be involved. But that’s part of being a Manchester United player and you have to live with that fact if you want to be here.
It obviously turned out to be a disappointing night, but how did it feel to captain the team against Coventry City?
It was an amazing honour. It was quite strange to step out of the tunnel first in line, but the main thing that sticks in my mind about that night is the defeat. Nevertheless, it was a good learning curve for everyone and despite the result it’s something I’ll cherish for a long time.
There are three tricky away games coming up in December including the trip to Anfield. You must be hoping for a similar outcome to last season…
Oh please yes! I scored an o.g against Liverpool [in September 2004] so last season cancelled that out and it’s definitely up there as one of the greatest moments of my career. I’m sure it will be on my mind on the day, especially if I come on in the last few minutes and the scoreline is level. I’d certainly love a repeat of such a special moment.