Noel Gallagher & Vincent Kompany: Manchester City, music & drama

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With three Premier League titles, three League Cups, an FA Cup and two Community shields, there is little you can teach Vincent Kompany about football at the highest level.

And with eight UK number one singles, 11 UK number one albums and more than 75 million album sales worldwide, there is not much Oasis star Noel Gallagher does not know about music.

But can we learn anything from them?

In a special interview with Football Focus to mark his testimonial year and 10th season at City, Vincent met Noel to discuss football, Oasis and a decade of drama at Etihad Stadium.

Here are five things we found out:

1. Man City gave up on the title in 2012

Manchester City players at Emirates Stadium<!–<!–[if lte IE 8]><![endif]–>

Manchester City’s title success in 2012 culminated in one of the most memorable moments in Premier League history – but there was a point when Kompany had lost all hope of ending the club’s 44-year wait to be English champions.

A loss to Arsenal in April left City eight points behind leaders Manchester United with just six games left.

“We gave up when we lost to Arsenal away,” said Kompany. “The league was done.

“But we had this kind of team mentality. We were fighting in training all the time because of the characters we had, which brought the best out of us for the last six games.”

City, of course, famously clawed their way back into the title race with five straight wins to lead the table going into the final game of the season.

That set the scene for one of the most dramatic season finales the Premier League has produced, Sergio Aguero’s stoppage-time winner against QPR snatching the title away from United and sending the sky blue hordes into delirium.

“That’s the moment that defined so much for this club,” added Kompany. “A lot of the players coming through today and being in this environment have to thank that squad and Kun [Aguero] in particular for that goal.”

Vincent Kompany celebrates scoring for Manchester City against Manchester United in April 2012<!–<!–[if lte IE 8]><![endif]–>

2. Man City are bigger than Oasis

Back in the summer of 1997, when Brit Pop was at its peak, Oasis released their third studio album Be Here Now, shifting more than 424,000 copies on the first day of release, becoming the fastest-selling album in British chart history.

Meanwhile, at Maine Road, Frank Clark’s Manchester City were about to kick-off the 1997-98 season in Division One. The campaign would end in disaster, with the club relegated to the third tier of English football for the first time in their history.

Sad Manchester City fans after relegation in 1998<!–<!–[if lte IE 8]><![endif]–>

Those days seem a long way away now, with City firmly among the world’s elite and attracting supporters from all over the world.

But does that mean they are now bigger than Oasis?

“I think that’s fair to say,” said Gallagher. “I was in Osaka, Japan last year for the first game of the season and we just ambled into a bar and it was full of Japanese Man City fans. We were like ‘wow, this is the start of something’.

“It shows that if you get the right people involved in a football club and you’re measured in what you do, you can make great things happen.”

3. Watching City is more nerve-wracking than playing in front of thousands

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From Glastonbury to Wembley via Knebworth and Madison Square Garden, Gallagher has played at some of the biggest venues in the world in front of millions of fans. But that is nothing when compared to watching his beloved City.

“Watching City is more nerve-wracking,” said Gallagher. “When I’m doing my thing you’re in control. When you’re watching City in the big, tense games they are out of your control and anything can happen.”

4. Noel would rather be a footballer than a rock star

Noel Gallagher performing on stage<!–<!–[if lte IE 8]><![endif]–>

Both perform week in, week out, in front of millions of adoring fans. Both travel the world playing in iconic venues and enjoy a luxurious lifestyle most of us could only dream of.

But given the choice what would you rather be – footballer or rock star?

“I’ve never met a musician, who is any good, who didn’t want to be a footballer,” said Gallagher.

“Vinny represents an entire City and an entire club. And if he makes a mistake then people’s weekends are ruined. For music it’s different, you’re part of someone’s night out, but you’re still performing in front of big crowds.”

But would Noel rather be a footballer?

“They’d probably earn more money than me now so I’d say yes!”

5. Kompany is a Mancunian… nearly

Vincent Kompany lifts the Premier League trophy<!–<!–[if lte IE 8]><![endif]–>

Kompany marked a decade at City last summer. His arrival from Hamburg coincided with the takeover of the club by Sheikh Mansour; a defining moment in English football that transformed City into one of the world’s most powerful football clubs.

To mark his testimonial year, Kompany hosted a dinner in a central Manchester hotel earlier this week. As well as celebrating his decade in sky blue, the event raised money for Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham’s ‘A Bed Every Night’ initiative, which is seeking to tackle the issue of homelessness in the city.

Kompany says it is a cause close to his heart and a chance to give something back to a city that has embraced him as one of their own.

“I’m an adopted Mancunian,” said the 32-year-old. “This city has grown on me. I have a wife from Manchester and have three kids who think they are more Mancuniuan than anything else, which is a problem I need to address!

“It’s suited me from day one and the club, where it is today, it’s unbelievable to have been part of this journey.

“I feel that this place is able to do incredible things when they pull together and I want to raise as many funds as I can to tackle the issue of homelessness in Manchester.”

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