Ahead of the Carabao Cup Final we caught up with Supergrass frontman Gaz Coombes to talk about his beloved Manchester United.
Firstly, how excited are you for the Wembley final?
Extremely. It’s great to see United in a final, going for silverware….after such a tough and uncertain few years. I can’t wait to get to Wembley, get in early, soak up the vibes.
How did you become a Manchester United fan?
Through my older brother Ed. I remember seeing all the scarves & posters of United on his wall, pictures of players like Whiteside, McQueen, Macari. I was five or six years old and knew straight away this is my club.
What are your earliest memories of watching the club?
When I was seven, watching the 1983 FA Cup final against Brighton on TV. Obviously I remember the replay a lot more. It was a brilliant game and Robbo was on fire. I loved watching him lift the trophy that day.
My first live game was the derby at Maine road in 1986. It was a pretty dull 1-1 draw but watching them live as a 10-year-old definitely cemented my love for United.
Who were your Manchester United heroes growing up?
Bryan Robson was my hero for so many years. I think the Spain ‘82 World Cup really ignited the love affair. He was just so dynamic and had that beautiful knack of turning up in the box at just the right time. His troubles with injuries only confirmed to me what a true warrior he was. Always fully committed to the cause. Best captain we’ve ever had.
What’s your favourite Manchester United memory?
Champions League final, Nou Camp, 1999. I was over in Barcelona working and I was lucky enough to get some tickets for the final. I was there with my brothers and my wife Jools. It was the most draining, frustrating, stressful game and by the end my head was banging from all the dark Spanish beer we’d been drinking all day. End of 90 mins approaching I was ready to give up. Then Jools put her arm round me and said with unwavering positivity ‘there’s still time, Gaz’. Then…everything went crazy! I still get goosebumps when I think about it.
With your busy schedule, do you get to many games?
Not for a few years now, since before COVID. It tends to go in phases. When I’m around for a while I try and get to as many as I can. But I’m working so much it’s tricky. I rarely miss a game on TV. Even when I’m travelling, or about to go on stage, I always find a way of keeping an eye on the game.
How does this Manchester United side compare to teams of the past?
Hard to say. I think I’ve seen a few United teams during the Sir Alex years that were an underperforming team in transition, working to get back that identity of a dynamic attacking team we’d all come to love. So it’s difficult to compare this team with teams of the past as we’re not where we want to be yet. Erik ten Hag has brought stability and I like him a lot. I do feel there’s exciting times ahead for this United team.
What would winning the Carabao Cup mean to you?
*Keegan voice* – I’d love it!
It would be brilliant for these young players to get used to that winning mentality. A first trophy for Ten Hag could be the catalyst for success. We’ll see eh.
Do you have a message for Erik ten Hag and the players ahead of the game?
Go and lift that trophy you beautiful lot! Come on United!
If you could select one of your tracks to be on the EFL Carabao Cup final playlist, what would it be?
‘Long Live The Strange’ would be ace to hear. But I’d also like to do an alternative version where I change the lyric to ‘Long Live Man U’.
It just fits so well!
Finally, let’s hear your prediction for the final… can Manchester United do it?
Yes, we can do it! If we play with the quality and speed of play we’ve seen at times this season, we’ve got enough to do it. 2-1 United.
Listen to Gaz Coombes on the Carabao Cup Final Playlist on Spotify.