Michael Mancienne: Talentspotter

He made his way into the spotlight at Chelsea and, via loan spells with QPR and Wolverhampton Wanderers, now finds himself in the Bundesliga with Hamburg. The defender spoke to FourFourTwo in February 2007 during his time at Stamford Bridge. 

Nickname
I don’t really have one, although the lads will shout ‘Mikes’ at me when they want the ball.

Club supported as a boy
Chelsea. I loved watching the likes of Hughes, Di Matteo and Zola, but my favourite player was Marcel Desailly. As a young lad in the youth team I was privileged enough to watch him train and put aspects of his game into mine.

Strengths
I’m comfortable with the ball, so like to play out from the back. I’m also quite quick.

Weaknesses
I’m playing right-back while on loan at QPR, so I’ll need to sharpen up on my positional play.

I play a bit like...
I’d like to think I play a bit like Rio Ferdinand, although I’ve got a long way to go to reach his level.

Highlights
Making the squad for Chelsea’s pre-season tour of the USA, then making the bench for our opening game of the season against Man City. It was great to be involved in an atmosphere like that at Stamford Bridge and although I was unlikely to get on, I still had to be mentally prepared.

Lowlights
Injuring my ankle in an FA Youth Cup game as a first-year scholar was bad, then I returned to the team and did the other ankle. I was out for three months in total.

Best player played with
Lassana Diarra has been outstanding in the reserves. He would walk into almost any other Premiership side.

Toughest opponent
I haven’t been given a lesson by anybody yet but Dele Adebola gave me a rough ride when I played for Rangers against Coventry this season. He was big, strong and uncompromising.

Biggest influence
My dad has always been there for me and tells me where I’ve gone right or wrong after games. He was a player himself and represented the Seychelles so I’ll always listen to what he’s got to say.

Club joker
JT is always picking on our masseur Billy Blood and loves a bit of banter. At QPR we have a striker called Shabazz Baidoo who is the clown of the squad. He has this weird sense of humour!

Car
A Mini Cooper – at the moment.

Chicks
Apart from my girlfriend, I’d go for any of the following: Beyonce, Rhianna, Halle Berry, Mya.

Flicks
Borat was good but my all-time favourite is Friday, starring Chris Tucker and Ice Cube. It’s about two guys who hang out in their porch in LA and is the funniest film I’ve seen.

Holiday destination
It would have to be the Seychelles. I’ve been there five times and it is absolute paradise.

What’s on your iPod?
I’m into R’n’B and hip-hop but I recently downloaded a funky house tune called The Curse And The Cure by Fish Go Deep. I hear it a lot when I’m out.

TV programmes
My Wife And Kids and One On One are big favourites of mine.

Tell us something we don’t know about you
I have represented England at U16 level through to U19 level and in the early days I often played in the team a year older than me.

Best piece of bling owned
My gold chain. I have a cross on it, which belonged to my grandmother.

With my first pay packet I bought...
Clothes, which included an Avirex jacket.

If I hadn’t been a footballer...
I’d probably have gone into athletics – I represented my district at 100 metres hurdles.

If you had one superpower, what would it be?
I’d love to be able to fly – especially with all this traffic in London.

Describe yourself in five words
Ambitious, talented, charming, level-headed, determined.

Most embarrassing moment
In a science lesson at school a leg of one of those high stools got caught in the turn-ups of my trousers, so when I walked I went flying. I also knocked myself out by hitting my head on a set of drawers on the way down!

In five years I’ll be...
Next to JT for club, and then hopefully country.

In the February 2007 issue of FourFourTwo. 


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