Ahead of the Carabao Cup final, we caught up with Supergrass leader Gaz Coombes to talk about his beloved Manchester United.
First of all, how excited are you for the Wembley final?
Extremely. It’s great to see United in a final, looking for the title… after such a tough and uncertain few years. I can’t wait to get to Wembley, get there early and soak up the vibes.
How did you become a Manchester United fan?
Through my older brother Ed. I remember seeing all the United scarves and posters on his wall, pictures of players like Whiteside, McQueen, Macari. I was five or six years old and I knew right away that this is my club.
What are your first memories of seeing the club?
As a seven-year-old, watching the 1983 FA Cup Final against Brighton on TV. Obviously I remember much more the repetition. It was a brilliant game and Robbo was on fire. I loved seeing him lift the trophy that day.
My first live game was the derby at Maine Road in 1986. It was a pretty boring 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 World Cup in Spain ’82 really lit the love story. He was so dynamic and had this beautiful ability to appear in the box at just the right time. His problems with his injuries only confirmed to me what a true warrior he was. He always fully committed to the cause. The best captain we have ever had.
What is your favorite Manchester United memory?
Champions League Final, Camp Nou, 1999. I was in Barcelona working and was lucky enough to get some tickets for the final. I was there with my brothers and my wife Jools. It was the most exhausting, frustrating and stressful game and by the end my head was pounding from all the dark Spanish beer we had been drinking all day. The end of the 90 minutes was approaching, I was ready to give up. Then Jools put his arm around 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 a lot of games?
Not for a few years, since before COVID. It tends to go in phases. When I’m around a while I try to reach as many as I can. But I’m working so much that it’s complicated. I rarely miss a game on TV. Even when I’m traveling or about to go on stage, I always find a way to keep an eye on the game.
How does this Manchester United team 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 underperformers in transition, working to recapture that identity of a dynamic attacking team that we all love. So it’s hard to compare this team to teams from the past, as we’re not where we want to be yet. Erik ten Hag has brought stability and I like it a lot. I feel exciting times ahead for this United team.
What would it mean to you to win the Carabao Cup?
*Keegan’s voice* – I’d love to!
It would be great 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 huh
Do you have a message for Erik ten Hag and the players before the game?
Go hoist that trophy, you beautiful lot! Let’s go United!
If you could select one of your tracks to be on the final playlist for the EFL Carabao Cup, what would it be?
‘Long Live The Strange’ would be great to listen to. But I’d also like to do an alternative version where I change the lyrics to ‘Long Live Man U’.
It just fits so well!
Finally, let’s hear his prediction for the final… Can Manchester United do it?
If we can do! If we play with the quality and speed of play that we’ve seen at some points this season, we have enough to do it. 2-1 United.
Listen to Gaz Coombes on the Carabao Cup Final playlist on Spotify.