Manchester United loanee James Garner has been answering questions on loan club Watford’s website – and one of his responses in particular was quite controversial.
The 19-year-old has enjoyed a good start to his loan spell with the Hornets and got his first assist last time out, putting in a great corner for William Troost-Ekong’s second half goal.
In the Q&A, Garner was asked about his favourite players and who his role models are.
When asked who the best player he has ever played alongside, Garner said ‘I’ve played with some top, top players. I have to say Juan Mata is class.
‘Everything about him – his touch, his pass, how he speaks to you on and off the pitch – he’s just a real nice guy.’
In terms of a player on whom Garner has modelled himself, his answer was one a United great, now one of the club’s coaches.
‘A lot of people compare me to Michael Carrick. I’ve done a lot of work with him at Manchester United and I’ve watched a lot of his clips, and he used to play the ball forward as much as he could, so I’ve tried to emulate that in my game as well,’ Garner said.
‘When I was younger he watched one of my games and the coach at the time said Michael would like to help me, so I did a few one-on-one sessions where it would just be me and him in a room with my clips.
‘It was a bit crazy that he wanted to take time out of his day to help me get better. He used to tell me how I could improve and he helped me so much on the basic things, but it’s the basics that are sometimes the most complicated things.’
One fan asked Garner which player from United he would bring with him to Watford if he could.
‘Mason Greenwood,’ came the reply.
‘He’s my best mate. I’ve played with him since I was about seven, so I’ve been in every single age group with him all the way up to the first team, and he’s a top player.’
The controversial moment – for United fans at least – came when Garner was asked who his idol was growing up.
‘Because of where I grew up, all my family are Liverpool supporters, which is ironic considering I’m at Manchester United, so my idol was probably Steven Gerrard,’ he confessed.
‘I used to watch all the games with my Dad and he was the main player who I used to watch and I wanted to be like him. I used to wear the Predators, just like him, and I still do today.’
Can we forgive him?
United have had some world class goalkeepers over the years and some entertaining ones too. Take our quiz below to find out how much you know about United’s number 1’s, past and present.