Ryan Shawcross opens up on management dream and playing for David Beckham’s Inter Miami



Ryan Shawcross is best remembered for playing on a cold, rainy night in Stoke… but he’s enjoyed much sunnier weather during the last 15 months.

The former England international is living in Florida, working for David Beckham’s Inter Miami. He finished his playing career at the MLS side earlier this year and became the reserves’ assistant manager – his first foray into coaching.

Yet Shawcross’ time in the US is coming to an end. The Stoke City legend is returning to England later this month to pursue his dream of becoming a manager. “I’m coming home because that’s what I want to do, and that [management] is one of my main goals,” Shawcross tells Mirror Football.

“I don’t think I’m an amazing coach, but I think I’ll be a good manager. That’s where I see my future.”

Shawcross admits he doesn’t know what level he’ll start at in management. “It all depends on opportunities. I’ve no doubt that eventually I’ll get one, but it is very difficult because there’s a small number of jobs available and there are a lot of managers after a job. For me, it’s about waiting for the right opportunity and making sure that when I do get one, it fits me and fits the club well.”

Shawcross is already starting to form his managerial philosophy, taking inspiration from some of the game’s greatest coaches. “I think you always look at the top managers and take little bits from them. It’s impossible not to look at [Jurgen] Klopp and [Pep] Guardiola and just be impressed with what they do with their teams.

“I always respect the [Diego] Simeones of this world and you’ve also got to look at [Carlo] Ancelotti at Real Madrid – the consistency of his performances during his career is frightening. These are all managers you look at.

“But there are so many different styles and managers out there. Graham Potter is a great example of someone that’s done well in a foreign country, come back [to England] and is applying a different philosophy to a club [Brighton] that was probably ran in a different way. They seem to be doing really well.

“There are lots of managers out there that I look up to and managers that I’d love to take snippets from, but like any manager you have to be your own person. I have ideas that I believe will make a team successful. It’s just making sure that when I do get the opportunity, I put them across.”







Ryan Shawcross was Stoke’s captain in the Premier League
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Shawcross played under Sir Alex Ferguson, Tony Pulis and Mark Hughes during his 16-year professional career. Those experiences have helped the ex-defender realise what you should – and shouldn’t – do in the hot seat.

“I was fortunate enough to spend time in Manchester United ’s academy. I never really got anywhere near the first team, but I had little snippets of dialogue with the manager and little bits of training with the first team.

“You learn so much. Sir Alex is the greatest manager ever, so it was impossible not to pick up lots of information from him and lots of ideas.

“I probably worked most with Tony Pulis and Mark Hughes, so they’re the managers I’d look to for information and the way they put across their points. Of course, I don’t agree with everything they did – but there were certain elements of their managerial career that I really looked up to and aspire to do.

“You see them having successful careers, and the longevity of their careers – Mark Hughes is still going now [at Bradford City]. It’s important for me to look back on my career and make sure the good bits they did, I try to take on.”

Shawcross joined Beckham’s Miami in February 2021 after playing more than 450 games for Stoke. He started his playing days at Manchester United, quitting Old Trafford in the summer of 2007 after making just two senior appearances to kick-start his career in the Potteries.

It was a risk to leave United, yet one that paid off. Shawcross went on to become an established Premier League defender, captain Stoke in an FA Cup final at Wembley and represent his country.







Ryan Shawcross represented England in 2012
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“I’m quite impatient, so I was impatient as a player. I wanted to play games – I wanted to play as many games as quickly as I could – and I didn’t want to wait for my chance [at United],” he recalls.

“Right or wrong, it was the decision I made. It turned out to be – I believe – the right decision. I ended up playing a lot of games at Stoke and loving my time there. It’s the same now with my coaching career. I’m very impatient, I want to do well and get to the top as quickly as I can.”

Stoke enjoyed 10 seasons in the Premier League and competed in the Europa League in 2011-12, with Shawcross at the heart of their defence.

On the club’s success, the 34-year-old adds: “I think we had a real good core down the middle of the team. We had [Asmir] Begovic, [Robert] Huth, [Jonathan] Walters, [Steven] Nzonzi, [Glenn] Whelan… and then the recruitment – for the first seven or eight years – was really good.

“They got it spot on by either dipping into the foreign market or replacing players… bringing in [Marko] Arnautovic and [Xherdan] Shaqiri. That’s probably the reason why we eventually got relegated – because the recruitment didn’t match or fit what we’d done in the past.

“Also, the fanbase had a huge say in how we played and how successful we were, and the ownership of the club was stable. That helped because we had two managers for nine years. When you have that sort of consistency, it’s a great ingredient for being successful.”

Shawcross took another risk in leaving England for Miami, yet it proved to be a wise decision. He got the chance to experience the MLS and start his coaching career.







Phil Neville and David Beckham are aiming to lead Inter Miami to glory
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“It was good [playing in the MLS]. It was something I did at the start of my career [on loan] at Antwerp. It’s something that I really enjoyed, and I wanted to do again before I finished. When the opportunity arose, I was really keen to do it.

“The geography of the country… the distance you have to travel for away games is frightening. You’re doing four, five-hour plane journeys every weekend. That’s probably the most difficult part.

“But the set up out here is amazing. The facilities are top notch and it’s a league that is really improving. Every year since I got here, the standard of players coming in and the quality has got better.”

Miami were established by Beckham and an ownership group in January 2018, 11 years after the former England skipper joined LA Galaxy. They’ve endured a tough start, failing to challenge for the MLS title during their first two seasons in the competition. Miami are currently second bottom of the Eastern Conference under the management of Phil Neville, Beckham’s former team-mate at United.

Despite this, Shawcross believes Miami will become one of the MLS’ biggest clubs. “The owners are hugely keen to make Inter Miami a global brand and a global team. I’m pretty certain they will [do that]. They’ve just got permission for a new stadium, which is going to be amazing – I’ve seen the images of it.

“Going forward, it’s going to be a huge club. It’s definitely going to be one of the biggest ones in the MLS. It’s just a matter of time. The only problem is they are such a young, new club – these things take time. But I have no issue in thinking they’ll be one of the top teams in the MLS.”

Shawcross can look back fondly on his American adventure as it draws to a close. “I’ve had a great six months in the first bit of my coaching journey – loved every minute of it – but just felt like it was the right time to come back and see what’s out there, see what’s available and what the future holds for me.”

Now an even greater challenge awaits. Management is perhaps the toughest job in football, and many have failed to make the grade. Yet Shawcross is excited to get stuck in. It’ll be fascinating to see how he fares over the coming years.

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