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“It's terrible. I know as much about ales as I do about football” – footballer Niall Quinn

By Liam Coleman contact

- Last updated on GMT

Niall Quinn: a footballing 'blue' and a red ale drinker
Niall Quinn: a footballing 'blue' and a red ale drinker

Related tags: Manchester city, Premier league, Niall quinn

Following on from 1.2 million people watching Manchester City’s recent 2-1 Premier League win over Manchester United in the pub – the most for any match this season – City legend Niall Quinn spoke with The Morning Advertiser ahead of the two sides meeting in the EFL Cup live on Sky Sports.

“The previous derby was a perfectly executed game plan from a master tactician in new manager, Pep Guardiola. Manchester United huffed and puffed but Manchester City were so sharp on the day and it highlighted the changes that Guardiola has already made to the style of Manchester City,” Quinn says.

He is glowing in his assessment of Guardiola’s immediate impact on City’s style of play: “Any game Manchester City play in these days is great to watch because you know that even if they have to knock it between their own corner flags to try and get the ball out, that is what they are going to do. 

EFL Cup matches on TV

Liverpool v Tottenham Hotspur (Tuesday 25 October, 7.45pm) - Sky Sports 1

Manchester United v Manchester City (Wednesday 26 October, 8pm) - Sky Sports 1

“It's bringing possession football to a new degree that we haven't seen before in the Premier League.”

Despite City’s superior start to the season, Quinn says that the meeting of the two clubs in the EFL Cup is a chance for United to prove they are not the number two side in the city, saying: “The wonderful opportunity presented to Manchester United in this game is to get themselves back involved and back on top in Manchester.”

The EFL Cup has been famed in the past for being a low priority for clubs and often results in weakened sides being played. Yet, Quinn does not think that will be the case when the pride of Manchester is at stake: “People might not think the EFL Cup is not up there with the Premier League but, in these circumstances, it's a massive game. You won't see two weakened teams that's for sure.”

A blue on the pitch, a red drinker in the pub

He may be famed for being a 'blue' in Manchester but Quinn is very much a red drinker in the pub. “Red ale is my choice. Smithwick's is the more fashionable red ale here in Ireland, but there a couple of real nice ones,” he says.

He then reels off a list of his favourite red ales, including O'Hara's, Copper Coast and Trouble Brewing’s Ripcord Red Ale, before joking: “It's terrible. I know as much about the red ales as I do about football!”

Combining his ales and football is the perfect evening for Quinn in his hometown in County Kildare, Ireland. “My choice now for a night out would be a few pints of real ale and a good match.

“People in the pub sometimes ask me for my opinions on incidents. If it's a very controversial incident, I will just say: 'I'm very glad I'm here having a pint and somebody else has to explain it'.”

He does try to justify his trips to the pub as having some purpose for his work. “Having a pint with people and seeing how they react watching the game is a help to me when I go back and commentate because you get a feel for what people are thinking,” he says.

He admits though that, ultimately, it is all about the atmosphere in the pub for matches, saying: “I'd sit in and watch it at home, but there's just better craic at the pub.”

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