Luke Shaw says he can take pride in proving everybody wrong, including Jamie Carragher and Gary Neville, after a stellar season at Manchester United.
Shaw has revealed he considered a move away from the club while Jose Mourinho was in charge. The 25-year-old fell out of favour under Mourinho and missed out on four finals either due to injury or loss of form. Shaw could have escaped to Tottenham Hotspur, but he wanted to prove himself at Old Trafford. He has done that this term with 46 appearances, a recall to the England squad and a Europa League final spot to come on Wednesday.
Former United boss Mourinho criticised Shaw publicly on a number of occasions and even said he was “a long way behind” his team-mates.
While Sky Sports pundits Neville and Carragher have been critical of Shaw in the past.
“I’ve been criticised by them in the past,” said Shaw. “It’s nice to change their minds on what they think of me. It’s nice to be put in their team of the year.
“They literally know everything about football! It’s quite nice to just sit there and listen to what they say and what they think, normally they’re pretty right about everything. But sometimes, maybe recently, they’ve got a couple of things wrong
“I always believed that I would be able to do it. When I was going through the bad times when I wasn’t playing, there were maybe people telling me to get out of there and go somewhere else.
“No one wants to leave the biggest club in the world and I believe there was a reason why I was brought here, and I didn’t want to leave without showing what I can do. I dug in deep, I didn’t let anyone affect me. Now, I’m on a much better path and setting a higher bar than I have done before. Consistency, for me, is key. I don’t want to get too comfortable.”
Shaw believes he has benefitted from some competition at left-back. He admits he has been pushed by Alex Telles signing from Porto.
“I pushed myself before Alex got here,” Shaw said. “I knew where I wanted to get to and I wanted to prove people wrong; a lot of people were doubting me and I always believed in my ability to get back to where I can be. Of course, the manager has helped that, and maybe a bit of competition from Alex might have helped that, too.
“If we can get that around the whole place in different positions, I think we can continue to keep pushing each other. It’s only good for the manager to have that sort of competition and hard choices on who to pick. That’s where we need to improve.”
Shaw also credits his partner Anouska for helping him fulfil his potential.
“We had a conversation before the start of the season on what my aims were going to be. Stuff like that! She’s been really good with me. She’s pushed me, she’s kept me on a straight path. My partner always reminding me of what I said at the start of the season and what I wanted to achieve,” Shaw said.
“Obviously, the benefits of that are showing now. Her and the little one have helped me outside football. It’s nice to know you’re going home to a loving home.
“It’s funny, because even sometimes when I come home, I think she’ll tell me if she doesn’t think I was my normal self in a game. She knows me so well now she knows what needs to be said at different times.”