Kobbie Mainoo's Fans' Q&A in full

Thursday 11 April 2024 09:00

Manchester United midfielder Kobbie Mainoo is certainly a popular young man, as we received a flood of questions for our latest Fans' Q&A.

Kobbie tries to explain the most-asked question from supporters, just where does he get his amazing composure from, and has advice for young people playing the game who need to improve their confidence.

He also reveals his regular pre-match meal, favourite artist, closest friends within the squad, nickname and why he wears no.37 - his answer tells you everything you need to know about his humble personality!

Thank you to everybody who got involved, here is the full list released in our video, published in association with Melitta...

Fans' Q&A: Kobbie Mainoo Video

Fans' Q&A: Kobbie Mainoo

FANS' Q&A | Kobbie Mainoo tackles questions on his pre-match meal, love for United, favourite artist and more...

Jack H. (USA): How do you say your full name?
“Kobbie [Kob-ee] Mainoo [May-new]”

Joshua W. (UK): What was your childhood life like – how big a part did football play in it?
“Thanks, Josh. My football was literally my whole childhood, I guess. I mean, from as long as I can remember, it was always playing football throughout the week: on the weekends, at school, wherever. At home, in the living room. As much as my mum hated it! So, yeah, it’s just my whole childhood, pretty much.”

Did you break anything around the house with the football?
“A lot of things! [laughs]”

Rachael B. (UK): If you could pick your perfect midfield partner from any United player of the past - who would that be and why?
“I’d say Paul Scholes, although there might not be a lot of defending happening between the two of us! [laughs] But, yeah, Scholes. Scholes, definitely.”

So what was it about his game that you liked best?
“Everything. His passing, his movement, the way he could finish. His intelligence, yes, he was a great player.”

Rasheed R. (Nigeria): Who is your role model?
“I can’t say that I have one. I like to pick different things from different people, whether it’s football players, I pick different things from their games to try and add to mine and stuff. So I wouldn’t say I follow one person directly, if you know what I mean? I just try to pick up things as much as I can from other people.”

Ashton R. (UK): What was you feeling after scoring your first goal against Newport?
“Thanks, Ashton. Yeah, it was an amazing feeling. I mean it’s something that I’ve dreamed of for as long as I can remember. To score for United was an incredible feeling. I mean, next now is just to do it at Old Trafford. So that’s what I’m looking forward to next.”

Sama K. (UK): Hi Kobbie, when you scored the winner against Wolves did you have the picture in your mind of exactly how you would work an angle to shoot or was it just pure genius and instinct to nutmeg the player and curl it in?
“To be honest, when I saw the player and I just thought I’d try to nutmeg him and then, when Omari [Forson] made the run, I thought oh, it’s opened up here. And then, I took my next touch and then I could just see the bottom corner. So I tried to slot it in. Thanks, Sama.”

And what was the celebration like, you ran to the fans but was pretty cool really?
“Yeah, I don’t know [laughs]. I just felt like it in the moment. It just felt right so I’ve done it.”

Muiz B. (UK): What advice do you have for youngsters trying to bring out their confidence in playing football but finding it difficult?
“I’d say just try and be consistent with how you play and, like, no matter who you’re playing with or who you’re playing against, just try and play. Play your game and not let things going wrong or things going against you discourage you. And I think that’s the main thing you can do. Just worry about things that are in your control and keep trying to do the right things.”

Mike E. (Canada): Where does your composure on the ball come from?
“I don’t know, I mean I’ve always felt most comfortable when I’m on the ball, do you know what I mean? I feel like it’s when I’m in control. It’s when I am in control. So, yeah, I guess it’s just I feel most comfortable with the ball at my feet, so it just feels natural, I guess.”

Is it that everything you’ve learned in the Academy has helped in that respect?
“Yeah, definitely. I mean they focus on ball control a lot when we’re very young. And so, with the ball at my feet, I feel like, you know, it feels the most natural.”

Did you play any small-sided football at all?
“Yeah, I played a lot of futsal when I was younger. That definitely helped as well with close control and stuff like that and a feeling for the ball. So, yeah, that definitely helped.”

Mainoo: Casemiro helps with my scanning


Kobbie explains how he is feeding off the experience of his much-decorated midfield colleague.

Fenix M. (USA): What are the drills you did as a kid that best helped you develop as a central midfielder?
“Like I say, futsal really helped. I mean just having the ball at the feet as much as possible and always having to be checking your shoulders for players coming and stuff like that. So that definitely helped.”

So is that scanning?
“Yeah, yeah.”

Kevin N. (Kenya): Why the number 37?
“It’s the number, I was given, Kevin! [laughs]. I didn’t really have a choice! I mean, last season, I was 73 and, to be honest, I didn’t really mind what number I changed to this season. Just give me 37.”

So you just switched the numbers around?
“I guess so!”

Jamie D. (UK): Hi Kobbie, what was the moment that made you realise you wanted to be a footballer. Was it a particular game, player or personal experience?
“I don’t remember. I mean I just remember always having the ball at my feet, so it just seemed like there was only one path [laughs]. Yeah, I thought I’m pretty good at this so I might as well carry on. It was always going to be that.”

Idrees A. (Nigeria): What is your best or favourite United moment – can you remember the first game you went to at Old Trafford?
“I don’t remember my first game. Favourite United moment? Maybe Rooney’s overhead kick. I remember seeing that against City.”

Martin P. (Serbia): Which is your favourite United game that you’ve watched?
“I don’t know. I don’t know about ever, from my childhood. I can only say, from recent memory, I mean I’ve enjoyed a lot of games where I’ve been on the bench. I’ve said this before but like, last season, against City at home. That was when Old Trafford was bouncing then and I enjoyed it. I enjoyed that a lot. I mean being on the bench means you’re so close to it. Even though I’m not playing, it’s still amazing to have that atmosphere and be close to the game like that.”

Which ex-Red would be Kobbie's dream team-mate?


Mainoo is asked to pick a United star from the past he'd love to partner with in the midfield.

Ryan R. (USA): Do you have a nickname?
“A lot of people call me Kobs, yeah. Kobs.”

Terry M. (UK) I want to ask you about your pre-match routine. I'm always curious to know how professional athletes prepare themselves mentally and physically before a big game.
“I mean I’m not very superstitious. I try not to be superstitious. So I just kind of do what happens. I have the same meal and that’s about it. I have pesto, pasta and salmon but, other than that, I just kind of do what I do. It’s not whether I’m not wearing the same underwear. I don’t have a lucky pair of underpants or anything like that. I just, you know, try to prepare what I do, listen to music.”

Some fans have asked which type of music you listen to?
“I like Drake at the moment. A lot of old Drake stuff, like the slower stuff. The more chilled stuff before a game. I don’t really like to get hyped before games. I like to just relax.”

Carlos G. (USA): What’s something you’ve learned from playing alongside Casemiro?
“I think just to scan even more because I feel like he sees things before everyone else does. And, playing with him, sometimes he might give you the ball and you’re not expecting it. So I think it’s having to just be knowing what he’s thinking and always scanning so, whatever he thinks is happening next, I can try to be as quick and to be clued up as to what he’s thinking to do next. So I can try to get in the right positions and stuff and be around him. Thanks, Carlos.”

So does that just develop over time, obviously the more you play together, the more you gel?
“Yes I guess so. I mean in training you can see it a lot in the way he moves the ball so quickly and the way he sees these passes that not many other people see. So I try to watch him closely and see when he’s looking, when he’s scanning and when he’s looking and what he’s seeing, and try to pick that up in my game so I can be effective as well.”

Christopher S. (UK): If you could pick one skill attribute of any other Manchester United player what skill would it be and why?
“Maybe Rashy’s speed. Yeah, he’s rapid isn’t he [laughs].”

Natalie K. (Zambia): If you weren't playing football, what would you be doing?
“I don’t know, Natalie. Something like another sport maybe. You know, I think I’d have to be doing something physically because it’s just what I’ve always enjoyed other sports and also football. So probably another sport. I don’t know. I’m not sure what but I would find something.”

Adam M. (USA): If football never existed, which sport would you play, Kobbie?
“I like basketball but that’s tough in the UK, I guess. Maybe, I don’t know but I like combat sports as well, like boxing and stuff like that. I did a little bit of that when I was younger.”

So you used to box?
“Yes, a little bit. Just training and stuff.”

Tyler R. (UK): Who’s your closest friend in the squad?
“Maybe [Alejandro] Garnacho or Amad. Yeah, or maybe Willy [Kambwala]. A lot of the young guys, lots of the young lads. Rasmus [Hojlund] as well.”

Mekhi M. (USA): What other sports teams do you like to watch in your free time, Kobbie?
“I follow boxing. I like UFC as well. Basketball, there’s a few. Yeah, there are a few sports that I like. I mean I try but with the times with them, with the American sports, the times and stuff mean it’s tough to stay up but I try to follow them as closely as I can.”

The boxing the other night was on late…
“Yeah and it was the night before a game. But we were all talking about it in the changing room before.”

Do you think Anthony Joshua can be the world champion and beat Tyson Fury in the future?
“I’m not sure. I’m not sure as I think Fury is very technical, isn’t he? But it would definitely be a good scrap. I’m looking forward to that.”

Paul P. (Malaysia): How does it feel going from watching other Academy graduates like Rashford and McTominay over the years to playing alongside them as a graduate yourself?
“Yeah, it’s a bit surreal. I mean it’s definitely at the start it was a bit surreal watching all these players on TV, playing with them on FIFA and stuff like that and then coming to training and seeing them every day. I mean it’s definitely an amazing experience.”

Jack D. (UK): Did playing at Old Trafford in youth games, like in the FA Youth Cup, help prepare you for playing at Old Trafford in the first-team?
“Definitely the final did because it was the final and it was definitely a bit overwhelming because we walked out and I was like, what is it, 67,000 people or something? So that definitely helped get to gauge a bit of what it would be like. So, yeah, thanks Jack.”

Charlotte K. (UK): What’s your favourite thing about being part of Manchester United?
“It’s the football club I’ve always supported. I mean growing up and watching them and stuff like that. So it’s just a dream come true to be around it and play for such a big club.”

Jonathan A. (Canada): What’s it like to know that all the fans are 100 per cent behind you and want you to achieve the world?
“Yeah, I mean it’s a great feeling. I mean we have the best fans in the world and so don’t want to let them down and keep on building on our performances and, hopefully, getting better and better and win more games. Yeah, for the fans.”

There was a special moment where you were able to walk all away around the ground and get an ovation at Old Trafford – how did that feel to get the applause as it was a little unusual to be able to do that?
“Yeah, I guess so. It’s great to feel the love from the fans and stuff. So yeah, it was good.”