If you were watching Stevenage Borough v Tottenham Hotspur on ITV this weekend, you might have heard a barnstorming energy rush of a tune called “Beggars and Liars (2012)” playing over the closing credits. Well, this song just so happens to be the forthcoming single by KAV, fronted by former Happy Mondays guitarist and passionate Manchester United supporter Kav Sandhu, so Football Burp caught up with him just before his blistering showcase performance at Gibson Guitar Studios for a chat about his beloved Red Devils, who themselves were preparing to make their Europa League bow at Ajax…
“Beggars and Liars (2012)”
Coming from Leicester, how did you come to be a United fan?
Basically, when I was young I was watching the 1986 World Cup, and when Bryan Robson dislocated his shoulder I asked my dad why they were taking off the England captain, and I felt sorry for them. This started a sort of attachment to Bryan Robson and I became my hero. I grew up with England wallpaper and a picture of Kevin Keegan in his Admiral shirt, but then the Bryan Robson thing happened and I became a Manchester United fan. Simple as that! Also, I didn’t really come from a football family, so there wasn’t somebody telling me who to support.
Do you have any affection for Leicester City?
I do, yeah. I’ve been to quite a few Leicester games, going back to just before the Martin O’Neill era, and I’ve got a soft spot for them but there was something about United. My friend’s mum had a season ticket at Old Trafford and she took me to a couple of games when I was 12, 13 years old, and it was just such a welcoming place. There was something about Old Trafford that felt so magical – I felt so welcome and I just fell in love with the club. I had Manchester United posters all over my wall – Roy Keane, who’s my absolute hero, and Eric Cantona… I love the spirit of the club, and what it stands for, what Sir Alex Ferguson stands for. It’s an international club, for me. It’s not about Manchester, it’s bigger than that.
Would you like to see Ferguson field a first-choice side for tonight’s game?
At the end of the day, they’ve got to go out there and perform. I’ve heard Rooney’s playing, and I think Welbeck’s playing, although I’d start with Hernandez tonight. He’ll probably go with Carrick as well. I think they’ll go with a nearly full-strength team because they need to win.
How did you feel about Liverpool’s efforts to portray Patrice Evra as the wrongdoer in the whole Luis Suarez affair?
I thought that was absolutely ridiculous. There’s such a big rivalry between the two teams, but they’ve got to look past that because this is bigger than football. Suarez has obviously said what was said, he’s admitted it. Patrice Evra is not the bad guy, it’s good that he’s actually brought it out into the open and made a point of it, and I think Liverpool were completely wrong to back Luis Suarez over the incident. It’s good that Kenny Dalglish has finally come out and said, “Hold on a minute, this isn’t right,” because Liverpool are a big club, a massive brand that appeals to people all over the world, like Manchester United. They have all types of nationalities supporting them, so I don’t know how a black Liverpool fan would feel about that situation. I’ve heard people on the radio say that it’s not that much of a big deal, but it is a big deal. It added some excitement to the game though – when he didn’t shake Evra’s hand, I got off the sofa like I was on fire, the passion that came over me. Two of the lads in the band are Geordies, massive Newcastle United fans who hate Manchester United, and they did the same. At that point, they were massive Man United fans. It was like good v evil!
(Someone mentions Evra’s attempted tackle on Suarez that instead scythed down Rio Ferdinand – causing the England defender to land skull first on the ground, almost spinning on it like Homer Simpson after falling down the stairs – and all have a good chuckle.)
“Sonic Soul Lovin” (feat. Marner Brown)
He’s on fire at the moment, but are you concerned by Wayne Rooney’s continued susceptibility to bouts of poor form?
He is our best player, there’s no doubt about that. Manchester United need a Wayne Rooney – he represents the old Manchester United player, has that same sort of edge. I’m a huge Wayne Rooney fan.
Johnny Evans had a good game against Liverpool. Do you think he has a future at Old Trafford?
Yeah, I think so. When he first came on the scene I thought he was great. I know he’s had a few little dips but I think he’s a fairly decent player, and he’s only 24 so he still has time. Obviously when Vidic is fit he plays, but does Rio Ferdinand have another season in him? You can see the quality in him still.
It could be handy to keep him on as a mentor for Evans, Chris Smalling and Phil Jones.
I think so, yeah. Evans alongside Vidic is a good player – he needs that experience, a leader alongside him.
Do you like the look of David de Gea?
You know what, I think he’ll come good. He’s obviously got a lot of talent, always seems to make at least one great save a match. He’s obviously got a lot of quality, and he looks like a completely different player for Spain U21s, obviously because he’s got the confidence. He’s got to build himself up a little bit more to be a big sort of goalkeeper, because he can get a little bit bullied in the box at times, although for me that’s the only thing against him. I think he’ll come good – Ferguson’s shown faith in him for a reason.
Who would you like to see eventually replace Ferguson as manager?
That’s a hard question. I ask myself that question quite a lot. My heart says Mourinho for some reason – I’m not the biggest fan of his style of football, but he gets the job done. Real Madrid are doing great at the moment.
Finally, if you had to pick a five-a-side team out of all the United players you’ve seen in your time as a fan, who would you select?
Bryan Robson, Roy Keane, Eric Cantona, Mark Hughes and Peter Schmeichel.
It would be a miracle if that lot lasted a game without a red card! Kav, thank you.
“Blaggers and Liars (2012)” will be released on 26th March, with an album to follow. For more information and a list of live dates, please visit www.kavblaggers.com.