When it comes to getting some inside info on Manchester United, you can't rely solely on someone based in the United States. The Internet is great, but to really report on something and learn about it, you gotta be there. Or, if that’s not possible, you need someone from the inside.
To really get to know Manchester United, you need someone who follows the team day-in and day-out, lives in Manchester and writes the best Red Devil blog in the world.
Lucky for us, I've found that guy. He is Scott the Red and he runs the brilliant Man United blog theRepublik of Mancunia
. He has supported the local team his entire life, inheriting his love from his father and his father before him. "Most Mancunians you come across are very proud of where they come from and ‘Republik of Mancunia’ is just a way of expressing that. Mancunian first, English second."
If you are at all a Red Devils fan (or if you feel you might become one after Sunday), I highly advise you check out ROM on a daily basis.
he was kind enough to answer some questions so we could get to know some inside dish from an inside source ahead of the massive Manchester United-Kansas City Wizards game this Sunday at Arrowhead.The Full 90: What are your expectations for the Red Devils this year? Nothing short of a title challenge is expected by many fans. Do you see this year's squad as having that kind of class? ROM: The standard of the Premiership has been pretty poor for the past couple of years, which means our squad wouldn't need to hit the heights of 2008 to be in with a chance. If not for our ridiculous injuries and ridiculous refereeing decisions against Chelsea
, we would have won the league last season. Next season we will be better and so, like I predict at the beginning of every season, United will be champions.The Full 90: What was the biggest change during the off-season? What player has the most pressure on them this year to perform? Who are the young players you're most interested in seeing how they've developed? ROM:
United tend to do pretty well following the World Cup. England fail miserably, United players get blamed and then return to our club more pumped up than before with the support of proper fans behind them. So, Rooney, who is "resting" (filming his new series of Street Striker for Sky) is one of the players who massively underperformed this World Cup. It's fairly embarrassing that his England team mates were talking [him] up to make an impact like Pele or Maradona! He had a great season just gone and will better than next year, hopefully feeding off the frustration and disappointment of the summer.
Nani was just hitting top form in the second half of last season so I hope he starts where he left off. Rafael and Fabio had a frustrating season with injuries so I hope they get a really good run in the team to lighten the load of Evra and Nev/Brown. We'll have to wait and see what happens with Cleverley and Welbeck though because both of them could be off again on loan.The Full 90: Who is your favorite player to watch on this team? Least favorite? Scott:
I love watching Wayne Rooney. I have my heart in my mouth sometimes when he loses the ball and you see him charging back down the pitch ready to fly in though! But he's so talented and works so hard that you always want him on the pitch. Scholes' passing ability still surprises me even now. I love seeing him pick the ball up in our own half and play an inch perfect 40 yard ball to a charging winger. Also, Berbatov. Some of the stuff he does with a football is the best we've seen for years at our place. Hopefully he will become more consistent with that next season.
I don't think I have a least favourite. There are players I would rather see in the starting line-up but I wouldn't say I have a least favourite player.The Full 90: You think the Glazers are... Scott:
I don't know what you can print really. Essentially, they are an incredibly selfish group of people. For a lot of us, this team is one of the most important things in our life, and the Glazers have taken it from us for their own gain. To lumber us with debt, to raise the prices like they have, and to put our money in to paying off their debt is just unforgivable. They have created a divide in our fanbase and destroyed a tradition that has gone back generations. There are too many fans who won't take their kids to the games any more, either because financially they can no longer afford it or out of protest, and that is really sad.The Full 90: For or against the idea of a North American tour? Is this just a money grab or a serious attempt to further their global reach into the U.S.? What are your thoughts on foreign tours in general? Would you rather see the team in England during this time? Scott:
I have no problem with the foreign tours. Getting to blog about United means I hear stories from fans all around the world about what this club means to them. Brilliant, I was born here and get to watch the team live every other week, but there's a great deal of passion for United in other countries, so I think it's nice for them to get to see the boys. The players get a nice warm up before the proper season starts so there's no need for them to be in England. Of course though, the primary factor for the club here is making money.The Full 90: Here's a free bonus question. New kits: Ugly or atrocious? Scott:
I personally don't like the look of the new shirt. I think Nike have handed us some really shoddy designs for years. Regardless of that, I won't be buying the new shirt. It's a personal choice and I'm not going to start preaching, because I don't particularly enjoy people who have given up their season ticket preaching to me, but I think for the sake of our club, we really need to limit how much money we are throwing at the Glazers, because for as long as they make money from us, they will stay. We need to give them a reason to leave. Going to games means our protest has a voice within the ground but for me, I see no sense in buying the shirt.
On RoMwe're running a competition all through the summer
where we'll be giving away pre-Glazer United shirts to encourage more people to dig out their old jerseys instead of buying the new on.
Check outThe Republik of Mancunia for yourself. And many thanks to them for taking the time to talk to us.