LUKE SHAW usually loves going on holiday.
Time away with family and friends, chilling at the end of a long season. But not this summer.
2 Luke Shaw admits watching his Prem rivals in Europe's two finals ruined his summer
This time his break was ruined by the pain of the end of last season as Shaw and his Manchester United team-mates watched as both of Europe’s club tournaments served up all—Premier League finals.
Shaw said: “It was really tough for all of us to take and you couldn't really enjoy your holidays.
“Last season was so hurtful for everyone. I know the fans were really hurt but we as a team, we were very hurt.
“You see the Champions League final and the Europa League final and they’re all English teams.
“It makes you feel even worse and especially the way the finals went — none of us want that to happen again.”
Shaw has had plenty of stick in the past for pictures from his holidays with pals and endured jibes about his weight and fitness.
Some he called “fair comment” but he vowed last summer to be in the best shape he could be to star for club and country.
And his hard work was rewarded by his Old Trafford peers when they voted him Players’ Player of the Year.
But that did little to ease the hurt of a desperate campain.
United failed to win a trophy and finished a distant sixth, 32 points behind champions Manchester City — and 31 adrift of bitter rivals Liverpool.
City completed a clean sweep of the domestic honours, while the Scousers won their sixth European Cup after beating Tottenham in the Champions League final.
And Chelsea beat Arsenal in the Europa League final too.
That all rubbed further salt into the wounds of United’s beleaguered fans and players.
But Shaw has warned United’s biggest rivals they will not be having it so cushy this season.
He added: “I think that’s why we’ve all come back with a different mindset.
“We had that break to clear our minds but now we’re all focused on getting United back where they belong and not let the teams that we’ve seen in the finals have it that easy.
“They won’t have it as easy as last season.”
There has already been evidence of what could be a different United in pre-season as boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer builds the team he wants. United have won all three tour games so far — and in impressive style.
Left-back Shaw, 24, said: “It’s probably been the best pre-season so far, training-wise.
“The manager said last season what he wanted from us, how he wanted to work us hard and get his ideas in.
“This pre-season has been really tough for everyone, physically and, at times, so hard mentally. But it is helping the squad massively. Ole is more focused on keeping the ball, playing out from the back and keeping possession, on the front foot as well with the pressing.
“Now we know as a team what the manager wants and what his ideas are for us to go and do on the pitch.
“It will be a new United this season. I have no doubt that when the first game of the season comes, we will be flying.
“People are probably already doubting us but they can carry on doing that.
“We know what we are capable of and we will have a much better season than last.”
There has been plenty to be positive about on tour, not least in new signings Aaron Wan-Bissaka at full-back and winger Daniel James.
Shaw said: “They’ve both settled in really well. A little mention to Aaron, he’s been amazing and, obviously, Daniel but more for Aaron because he’s in my position. He’s been unbelievable.
“He already looks like he’s been here for a while. We are really looking forward to seeing more of him this pre-season and at the start of the season.”
A bright star has also emerged in 17-year-old Mason Greenwood, who scored in the 4-0 win over Leeds and got the only goal in the win over Inter Milan.
Solskjaer says he is bang in contention to start the season. Shaw certainly understands why.
He added: “He’s amazing. Mason’s got so much talent and it’s so hard to think he’s still 17 — and it’s not long ago he turned 17 — so it’s crazy.
“He’s got so much talent it’s unbelievable. He’s two-footed — I don’t know if anyone knows or not but that’s unbelievable for that age.
“He’s got the maturity level that is so much above his age but he’s also confident and not cocky.
“So it’s the perfect way to be and we know he believes in himself and we all believe in him.”
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The job now is to get the fans to believe in this United.
After listening to Shaw, you sense they might just do that.
Thanks to Maui Jim, Manchester United’s Official Vision Partner, for inviting us to the event in Singapore to launch the new Manchester United Sunglass Club Collection by Maui Jim.