My Matchday: Tom Cleverley
The Golden Boys talk us through their matchday rituals, routines & habits.
On the morning of a game I tend to have porridge with banana and then pre-match, about three hours before a game, it’ll be fish, veg and then maybe a bit of jam on toast.
We all sit in the same seats on the coach. I sit on a table with Craig, Mapps and Troy. We’re always having a chat about the opposition on the day, maybe watching the early TV game on the way. It’s always the same, never changes.
On the way to the ground, if I’m not having a chat with the lads I’ll normally listen to an indie band to get me in the mood for a game. I like The Courteeners. I’m not one of those that has to listen to music though, I’m pretty happy with Caps or Andre being DJ before a game.
Firstly, I’ll go and look at the pitch, then I’ll go and get changed into training kit for the warm-up. I’ll have a bit of treatment, do some stretching and then I’ll check through all the set-pieces and I’m ready to go.
I’m one of the easy ones for the kit men. The one thing I always use is the electrical tape. I’ll wrap it over my shin pads but that’s the only request I have for my kit.
I’ll normally have a pair that I train in and then a pair for games. If I was to score in a certain game, then maybe I’d make sure I had the same pair on next week, but apart from that I don’t do anything special really.
I used to be quite superstitious, pre-match especially, but I’ve grown out of it a bit. I used to have a thing about odd numbers, for example I’d always wrap the tape three times. Everything would be mainly one, three or five times. I would always go out onto the pitch either third, fifth, seventh or ninth, but it doesn’t really matter as much to me anymore.
I’ll always take my time post-match and let the traffic die down. I’ll go to the players’ lounge for a bit and then speak with family and friends on the way home on the hands-free. And then a little bit of a superstition – if we’re at home and we get a good result I’ll always get a Chinese takeaway on the way home. No Chinese if we lose though, only if it’s been a good day at the office!