rss twitter facebook mobile

Vidic Might Be Miserable…But We’re Singing In The Rain

Nemanja was quoted as saying some not very nice things about Manchester this week, which he has since denied, although some have doubted how sincere his denial of the comments were.

It’s a bit shady isn’t it? He hasn’t denied the interview took place, but claims he was just trying to get across the negative feelings he had for Manchester when he first arrived. Still, to see that the train station was the main attraction so people could leave here for other cities, is a rather elaborate mistranslation or a way to describe the city he now lives in.

Some of you might have seen the results of a study revealed yesterday on BBC, which said the the people in Manchester were the 2nd most happy in the whole of Britain. Which got me thinking about how great this city is, and how Vidic must be mad if he’s missing that! (although I’d never tell him to his face)

“I will never stay to live in England, that’s for sure,” Vidic is quoted as saying. “You only get a brief glimpse of sunlight before it’s cloudy again. The winters are mild, but in summer the temperatures seldom go higher than 20C. And it rains, rains, rains. I would like to test myself in another top league… Spain. At least there will be no reason to complain about the weather. In England, they say that Manchester is the city of rain. Its main attraction is the timetable at the railway station, where trains leave for other, less rainy cities. It’s not only the weather… In Russia and Serbia the people’s way of life is similar. In England it’s totally different. Here they just don’t have time to feel joy. Throughout the week they work hard. They only talk to people at lunch. Then in the evening they come home and watch the telly, so they can get up early for work the next day.”

Well how rude. You might not be happy here Nemanja, but the rest of us bloody love it!

A team from the Universities of Sheffield and Manchester conducted a study on where Britain’s happiest place was. Using information from the British Household Panel Survey, where people were asked about their sense of well-being, the researchers were able to determine which districts were the happiest places to live.

Employment, health and educational qualifications were factored in to the equation, whilst it is typically the ’social cohesion’ and interpretation of ’social justice’, rather than location itself, which seem to make the difference.

The state of interpersonal relationships was a deciding factor in judging well being, with people feel more at ease in locations where they felt there was ’social equality’. Areas where these things are prevalent tend to be areas where people are happiest.

“If an area is more socially cohesive it increases your chances of having good quality of interpersonal relationships and a good social network,” said Dr Ballas. “To what extent we can talk about happy people or happy places? Is it the place or the people? My guess would be it’s a bit of both. The variance that is attributed to the place you live in is perhaps higher than our research suggests, your immediate surroundings are very important in terms of happiness.”

The amount of time a person stays living in a certain place is also a consideration when judging well-being, where staying in area for five years or longer suggests contentment.

Whilst Powys in Wales tops the chart of contented people, it is Manchester that lies in second, with West Lothian, Cumbernauld and Kilsyth and Monklands, and Macclesfield the districts to follow. Here we have a city of happy and mellow people, satisfied by life and their surroundings.

Past studies have claimed Manchester is “the friendliest city” in the UK as well, which was also supported by the commemorative £2 coin for the Commonwealth Games held in Manchester in 2002, where the usual “Standing on the shoulders of giants” was replaced with “Spirit of Friendship – Manchester”

I remember well when one of my southern mates from university came to stay with me in Manchester, and asked why I hadn’t introduced him to the people I had been chatting heartily to at the bar. My answer, I didn’t even know who they were. He couldn’t get his head around strangers being able to laugh and joke in such a way, but it is a regular occurrence in this fine city of ours.

Whilst Manchester is actually in fact only the 9th rainiest city in the UK, not topping the charts like most would imagine, it is important to remember a line from a Beautiful South song: “If rain makes Britain great, then Manchester is greater.”

Whilst I could rant on and on about how wonderful Manchester is, to counter balance the point of view put across here by Nemanja, I came across a piece in The Telegraph that did it for me.

George Orwell called Manchester the “belly and guts of the nation”. Ian Brown, former lead singer of the Stone Roses, said: “Manchester’s got everything except a beach.” The historian AJP Taylor said it was “the only place in England that escapes our characteristic vice of snobbery”.

How dare you, Mr Vidic. How very flipping dare you. Yes, it rains in Manchester. Did you not check the long-term weather forecast before leaving your last club in sunny Moscow?

No one can argue with this astute climatological assessment, but soggy is what makes this city great. Perpetual damp conditions have given Mancunians a certain resigned resilience, an ability to take the miserable and make it art. Without the rain there would have been no Morrissey, no Lowry. If it weren’t so wet, the humour would not be so dry.

Mancunians rarely complain about the weather. It was only when I moved to London from my home town that I heard the words: “Shall I take my umbrella today?” Mancunians always take a brolly.

Under such conditions, it is difficult for Mancunians to have a sunny outlook, but they are famously warm, another aspect of our civic character Mr Vidic has overlooked.

The joy of life passing us by? We’re singing in the rain. Manchester is one of the planet’s great party capitals. The only place that rain can really stop play is at Old Trafford cricket ground.

[The picture Vidic paints of our working lives] is not the Manchester I know, but is it fair to criticise the work ethic in a city – Cottonopolis as it was nicknamed – that was at the forefront of the Industrial Revolution?

By yesterday afternoon, the no-nonsense defender was crying foul, stating that his comments had been misunderstood and that he had far too much respect for the people of Manchester to criticise them.

He needn’t have bothered. Mancunians are a stoic lot (something to do with all that rain) so there’s no need, Mr Vidic, to pull on a flak jacket. I’d strongly suggest, however, that you take some of your 50k a week to Manchester’s excellent shopping district and get yourself a decent raincoat.

You hear that, Nemanja? I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else, and after Vidic’s performances last season, I hope he quickly learns to feel the same way!

About Scott

Scott is the editor of Red Matters - 50 Years of Supporting Manchester United and an author of Play Like Fergie's Boys and Not Nineteen Forever. He writes for ESPN, The Metro and Bleacher Report. Follow @R_o_M on Twitter.

View all posts by Scott »



  1. OP says:

    I reckon it was simply another example of the British press using a shoddy translation of a foreign language interview. Hardly anything to worry about.


    as op said i think most was lost or misplaced in translation, in some interviews i have seen/read of him hes always cracking jokes, so i reckon the british press just ran with it to see if it would get under our skins

  3. denton davey says:

    All that is well-and-good, but I can distinctly recall sitting in my aunt’s home near Heaton Park and watching it sheet down rain on the north-facing front while in the allotments out back it was brilliant sunshine. Twenty minutes later, the situation was reversed !

    It’s not something that a non-native takes to; Vidic comes from Serbia where sunshine is regular, predictable and fairly constant – same deal goes for Nani, Tevez, Anderson, and Ronaldo as well as the Brazilian kiddie corps. It’s ludicrous to believe that they don’t imagine sunshine when it’s drizzling. BUT, on the other hand, in those other places they don’t get to play for UTD, they don’t get to step out onto the turf at OT, and they most assuredly do not play in the Theatre of Dreams.

    Like the Mastercard ad say, “priceless”.

  4. Scott the Red says:

    Davey – it’s a weird kindof affection Mancs have for our city though innit? Whenever outside of Manchester, I fucking love it when I bump in to a Manc, and a few pints later I’ll find myself confessing my love for it. Does everyone feel as strongly about their city as Mancs you reckon?

  5. denton davey says:

    There’s an old, old saying about misery loving company, and company loving misery, and my old man, looking back at the best times of his long life, loved Manchester.

    I was back in M/C a couple of years ago to visit my surviving cousins and could not get over how much of the WWII wreckage was still around – after hearing that Manchester is the number-one example of post-war reconstruction ! My neighbour here in Toronto is a professional urban re-developer and he reckons that only about five per cent of the re-development has been addressed so far. That seemed about right to me.

    But. of course, a city is far more than bricks-and-mortar – I grew up in Vancouver (I left M/C when I was a babe-in-arms) and it’s surely the most beautiful place in the world when the sun shines but it lacks “soul”. I now live in Toronto which is a gritty, unlovely place with an abominable climate but Hogtown is a real city with the buzz of urban life. Thankfully, the advent of satellite TV has enabled me to reconnect with footie – and TheLads.

    For Mancunians, there’s no place like home – even if it’s Denton or Gorton ! But the weather is still pretty awful. And, I would prefer Madeira or even Serbia if that was all there was to life.

  6. Daniel says:


  7. Tom F says:

    I’m from West London and have a strange affection for Manchester and Mancunians in general…

    I love the city and hope to come and live there one (sunny) day.

  8. United4life says:

    I used to live in Salford when I was a kid and believe me the people there are friendly. They took me in their circle of friendships eventhough I am asian. So I will always have fond memories of being in Manchester. Long live Manchester and it’s best team!

  9. PeeJay says:

    Manchester is the ugliest city I’ve ever seen.

  10. suhayl says:

    peejay you diss the diss our club. So do us a favour will you…piss off.


  11. PeeJay says:

    I spent my childhood between Rome and London and must say that as much as I love Manchester United I really think that Manchester is one of the ugliest places in the world and Mancunians are some of the ugliest people in the world. Nothing compared to the natural warmth of the Romans.


You must be logged in to post a comment.