The New England Revolution made their second signing of the Summer Transfer Window on Aug. 3 when they added Michael Mancienne. To gain more insight on the English defender, we spoke to Barry Cooper, who is a writer at the Nottingham Post.
TBM: Mancienne comes to the Revolution after four seasons with Nottingham Forest. How would you describe his time with the Reds? Why was he available to move to the United States?
BC: The defender had been a regular last season, playing 33 times under Mark Warburton prior to his sacking on New Year’s Eve. He was then picked with regularity by Aitor Karanka.
The former Real Madrid European Cup winner has opted for a new-look defender, signing the experienced Michael Dawson and Tobias Figueiredo and feels that Mancienne, who started his career at Chelsea isn’t to be a part of that.
Mancienne has been a good servant to the Reds, playing 134 times in his four-year spell on Trentside, captaining the club on many occasions.
For the most part, he’s been a reliable and honest performer but was never the leader that Forest arguably needed in the heart of their defence, and he has been part of a unit which has consistently conceded poor goals and plenty of them.
I’d say his best spell at the club was shortly after he signed for £1m from German side Hamburg four years ago.
At the age 30, he probably felt like a move to America was a good one for his career and also his family.
TBM: What are Mancienne’s strengths?
BC: He’s exceptionally good on the ball, is very classy and cultured. He’s got a great deal of experience and knows the game well and passes the ball well.
At times, he can read the game very well and has pace which can get him out of trouble if needs be.
TBM: What are Mancienne’s weaknesses?
BC: Sometime he does have the ability to switch off in key moments. The way in which Forest conceded their second goal against Arsenal in the FA Cup last season was a case in point.
He switched off thinking goalkeeper Jordan Smith had collected the ball and instead, Danny Welbeck was able to roll the ball into the empty net.
Mancienne may well have captained Forest and other sides in his career, but with that I feel brings an added pressure which can have an impact on his performance and can in turn, make him look nervous.
Those were not regular occurrences it has to be said, but he is prone to lapses in concentration and at the level he plays at in England, you just can’t afford those – and they are probably why he’s not spent more of his career playing at a higher level.
TBM: What else should Revolution fans know about their new defender?
BC: He’s a good man, he’s honest and he’ll never shirk anything. Football fans want to know their players care, that even if they play poorly, they’ll give their all and I think Mancienne will fall into that category.
At the age of 30, he’s still got a few good years left in him and America may well suit him and his style.
We want to thank Barry for taking time to answer our questions. Those interested in Nottingham Forest, or English soccer in general, can follow Barry on Twitter (@Bazdjcooper).