Oasis legend and Etihad fan chats to Sun Deputy Editor Gordon Smart, giving his derby verdict and firm views on much more.
Oasis legend and Manchester City die-hard Noel Gallagher is desperate to be celebrating a Manchester derby win over Jose Mourinho today.
The rock superstar tells The Sun’s Deputy Editor Gordon Smart exactly what he thinks about the derby — including who is the most overrated player in the United camp.
GORDON SMART: Right Noel, this is it, the big one. There are a lot of lads from different countries in the City team. How would you get over how important a game it is for the fans?
NOEL GALLAGHER: I think most professional footballers, no matter where they come from, would realise how important a local derby is. They wouldn’t necessarily need to know the history of it. This is the Derby — DO NOT LOSE!
GS: City have so many big games now, does United still feel as special?
NG: It’s the biggest. Nothing comes close. There isn’t even a second biggest.
GS: So if you were sending Pep a text on Saturday morning, what would it say?
NG: Ignore the little gobs**** in their dugout beside you. Bamboozle the fools with semaphore and we shall be victorious. And whatever happens, we’ll still love you.
GS: If United were a band who would they be and why? Same with City?
NG: If Man United were a band they’d be the Bay City Rollers. Extremely popular all over the world (so says the press release). The kids love ’em, mums and dads love ’em, grannies and grandads love ’em . . . EVERYONE ELSE THINKS THEY’RE S***!
City are the Sex Pistols. Enough said.
GS: You’ve interviewed Pep. How is he different from other recent City managers?
NG: What a dude! He’s very, very cool. I could see players, particularly the younger ones, being mesmerised by him. All managers are different, though, which is why we love the drama in the dugouts.
GS: Everyone is expecting some dugout drama today. But if Jose had come to City, would you have been more or less happy than with Pep’s appointment?
NG: I would have been happy with either. But it would have felt slightly like a guilty pleasure clapping the other fella. And any United “fan” will tell you they DESPERATELY wanted Pep, so it’s the double whammy!
GS: You read the Pep book recently. Have you taken anything from it to influence your life?
NG: Ha!! No. Great read, though. He is the real deal.
GS: And would you go for dinner with Mourinho if he asked?
NG: If he’s paying.
GS: Who will be in their job longer, Jose or Pep?
NG: I’m hoping Pep becomes addicted to the Premier League and stays for a decade. Not a***d what the other fella does. Stay? Go? I truly don’t care.
GS: All right then, how do you assess Paul Pogba? Do you think he’s a player to build United around for a decade or a waste of money?
NG: He’s the Mario Balotelli it’s OK to like. A walking hairdo.
Bale, Messi, Ronaldo, Suarez? He’s nowhere NEAR that league.
There will be some funky goal celebrations and bullying of third division opponents in the FA Cup along the way. But, nah mate, not for me!
GS: Do you reckon John Stones can handle the physical presence of Zlatan?
NG: Mangala had him in his pocket TWICE last season and he ain’t exactly up to much!
I think United’s tactics will be clear: Park the bus; hit the big divvy up front; see what happens.
GS: Zlatan was winding Claudio Bravo up this week, but have you got a message for him?
NG: Ibrahimovic? He’s a big dafty, a typical United “fan favourite”. I would bet one of my houses that he wears disgraceful shoes. I make him an unacceptable bozo.
GS: Is there ONE United player you would have in the City team?
NG: David De Gea.
GS: Any Manc Derby secrets/scrapes/shame you can tell us about?
NG: Ha!! Erm . . . no!
GS: Who is the first person you text when City win? Who is first to text you when City lose?
NG: I’m not really a mad texter at football. It drives me mad, to be honest.
My DJ pal Mike Pickering probably would be the first on the phone. I’m not really one for gloating either — unlike that current part-time bass player from the second-best band ever to come out of Manchester (that’d be The Stone Roses!)
I have nothing to say to United fans win, lose or draw.
GS: But what would you do if your daughter, Anais, showed up at the house with a United player draped around her?
NG: She wouldn’t. She’s a blue. The end.
GS: What did the 6-1 game feel like?
NG: It was truly unbelievable. I was in Dublin, just about to start my first solo tour. It was an unforgettable day. I remember just thinking: “Wow! Imagine being THAT s***!”
GS: The season’s only a few weeks old but is this match a pointer as to who wins the title?
NG: I get the same feeling from this one as from the one at Old Trafford at around the same time during the 2011/2012 season.
We were both playing really well coming off the back of huge results against Tottenham and Arsenal. The press were saying it was a title decider then and we smashed them 6-1.
Everyone said we’d walk it from there. But as you know we just managed to sneak the title on the last day. Won’t mean a thing long term.
GS: Would you ever have imagined ten years ago that City would be what they are now?
NG: No, never. I mean . . . did anyone?
The people who took over the club have yet to put even the slightest foot wrong.
The chairman is a colossal dude and as for the sheikh? If Carlsberg did owners . . .
GS: Who were/are the best City players you have seen?
NG: Dave Silva, Sergio, Yaya, Vinny (Kompany), Joe Hart, Kinkladze, Ali Benarbia, Bell, Lee, The Buzzer (Mike Summerbee). We are living in a golden era now, though.
GS: Who is the best current City player?
NG: It really is a toss-up between Silva and Aguero. ANYTHING is possible with those two.
GS: Finally, predictions for the game — and the season?
NG: I think it’ll be a draw. Maybe it has come a bit too early in the season for us to be fully bedded in with the new regime etc. So I can also see United nicking it 1-0.
As for the league? Surely no one is dumb enough to call it in September?
This league regularly makes fools of us all. I just hope it’s a great season and we somehow come out on top.