The season is over so please forgive me for talking about something with little to no relation to United. The story links with Sunderland, our second XI/Mini Manchester United, so I guess it’s not completely random.
I’ve just read that Craig Gardner is set to sign for Steve Bruce after spending the last 18 months at relegated Birmingham City. This Brummie lad made his way up through the ranks at Aston Villa and played in the first team for five seasons.
April 2007: “I signed for Villa when I was 15 and since then these have been the best days of my life. I’m a Villa fan. I’ve come through the ranks and nothing can be better. I used to be on the Holte End. I was there when we beat Tranmere in the League Cup semi-final. I was at the game when Mark Bosnich saved the penalty and we all ran on to the pitch so it’s come from that. When I was watching Villa as a kid there were people like Garry Parker, Dalian Atkinson and Paul McGrath. They were all brilliant. I used to sing their names and now I look at the crowd and they’re chanting my name so it’s great.”
Then, in January 2010, Birmingham signed him and after claiming to be a lifelong Villa fan, changed his tune.
January 2010: “Having played for the Villa everyone thinks I’m a Villa fan but I’m a Bluenose. I have been all my life. I was a mascot at John Frain’s testimonial. But I don’t have to prove anything to anyone. People who know me, my close friends and family, they all know I’m a Blues fan. As they say: ‘once a blue, always a blue’.”
Now he’s off to Sunderland, following the relegation of the team he’s support “all his life”, and you can only imagine what he will say at his press conference.
I hate footballers.
The Republik of Mancunia has brought out a brilliant downloadable World Cup preview. It contains 20 articles written by football experts on the countries our players will be representing in Brazil. There is also exclusive content from this country's top football journalists, such as Sid Lowe, Martin Lipton, Sam Wallace and Dominic Fifield. All profit is going to charity. More info on the RoM World Cup preview can be found here.
Minimum price is £4. Enter your e-mail address to receive the download and the price you would like to pay.