BSJ goes 1-v-1 with Michael Mancienne

(New England Revolution)

FOXBOROUGH -- We wanted to give new Revolution defender Michael Mancienne a couple of weeks to settle in with his new club before we got the opportunity to talk with him, and from all accounts, the Englishman has settled in nice and proper. So earlier this week, we sat down with him -- as well as teammate Jalil Anibaba, and got comments from gaffer Brad Friedel -- and spoke about his past as well as what he brings to The Boys In Blue.

BSJ: How difficult was it to emerge from the Chelsea Academy and break into the first teams for Jose Mourinho and Avram Grant and Guus Hiddink?

Michael Mancienne: Very difficult, to be honest. Very difficult for any young boy coming through, especially at a top team, where they’re under pressure to win trophies, and it’s hard to trust a young kid who hasn’t got any experience to put him in than someone who has played 200, 300 games.

BSJ: What did you learn in those loans to Wolves and QPR, but also about yourself and how to break into first team football?

MM: I learned real football, especially at Chelsea; you’re in a bubble, you’ve got everything there for you: the facilities are unbelievable. You have 20 chefs or whatever it is, and you have so many staff members, and then you go to a team who doesn’t have all of those things, you’re kind of put in the real world. Obviously at Chelsea, they’re always toward the top of the table; you go to a team that might be struggling, and you go into a real dogfight. You learn how to survive.

BSJ: When it came down to the transfer earlier this month, who approached who first? Was it Brad calling your agent, or vice versa; did your agent call Brad saying, ‘Michael would like an opportunity to play’?