Writer: J P Fear
Date:Friday August 15 2008
1) So, another season is upon us. What are your hopes and fears for City?
Er, all together now. 'Our Father, who art in heaven....' Well, Villains, as I said to our rapidly growing Vital MC community only yesterday, we've gone from gonna be's to wanna be's inside 12 months. The football has been almost incidental this past fortnight and my hopes right now are for us to stay in competitive Premier League business. My main fear is that we will be sanctioned in some way as a direct result of our owner's impending downfall and become Leeds 2.
2) City appear to be in turmoil with management and owners already not seeing eye to eye. Do you think this is press talk or has Thaksin Shinawatra bitten off more than he can chew?
The situation is changing rapidly with a new revelation or rumour coming out every 24 hours, hopelessly unchecked by the club. Mark Hughes has been doing a tremendous job having to firstly answer the media directly as the face of the club in the absence of any leadership from the new 'Executive Chairman' and 'Chief Operating Officer.' Secondly, he has had to deal with persuading players to stay as well as fending off the unwelcome attentions of shite stirring agents and the underhand efforts of the club's hierarchy who are trying to sell players behind his back. Christ knows what the story is with Thaksin. In desperation, as we were relegation certs last summer I backed the takeover. Now I feel like I've been mugged.
3) What did you think of the Sven exit and how happy are you with Mark Hughes taking the reigns?
Sven was a great ambassador for Manchester City and brought much needed dignity and stability to the club. However, he's no mug and I'm increasingly forming the opinion that he fell out with Thaksin over transfer policy and lack of funding issues. I have no doubt that he couldn't get out of Dodge quickly enough. 'Bluesy' meanwhile, so often our Derby Day nemesis, has added steel to the managerial role. It won't be easy for him winning over our fans, but he has performed admirably in the shitstorm that he has had to work in to date.
4) How has the summers transfer window treated you, good or awful?
Well, the absolutely embarrassing charade of the new City hierarchy publicly failed fawning after Goofy Ronaldhino was a toe curler. Meanwhile, the super agents that Thaksin and his football clueless advisers put so much faith in, set up the transfer of the exciting Brazilian forward Jo (who you won't see on sunday as he will be getting polluted at the Olympics) from CSKA Moscow with yet another small initial down payment. Hughes has only had direct control over bringing in the impressive Tal Ben Haim from Chelski. It has been a far from ideal transfer window. The pursuit of zombie face meant we lost ground on many of our rivals and even though we offloaded a lot of dead wood, the squad remains a small one for a Premier League and European campaign.
5) What are you expecting from City this season and do you think you'll finish above Villa?
As I said earlier, the football has become almost incidental. It's all about how focused Hughes can keep the team as a crisis engulfs the club. The players showed a fragile mentality towards the end of last season which culminated in the mother of all cave-ins at Middlesborough. But if Bluesy can forge a siege mentality and keep together our young dynamic, exciting squad which is built upon the backbone of the MCFC Academy, then we could go places. If the off field situation is resolved positively, then I see no reason why we can't finish above or besides The Villa.
6) If there was one player of ours you could have who would it be and who would you send in the opposite direction?
I'm a big Jon Carew fan from his time in France and like his style. When he's on fire, he can flatten mountains. You can have Danny Mills who is still inexplicably with us.
7) What is your prediction for the game on Sunday?
Traditionally, Man City teams are never more dangerous than when they have been written off and that is happening right now. The thus far successful close season friendlies and UEFA Cup Qualifiers threw up some tough challenges and the most noticeable aspect has been how the City team are enjoying their football. That mood is best encapsulated in the form and desire of Valeri Bojinov, our Raging Bulgarian who is starting to fire on all cylinders. ANYTHING is possible on sunday in the current MCFC climate!
With thanks to Vital Man City legend Johnny Baguette. My answers will appear on www.manchestercity.vitalfootball.co.uk
Date:Friday August 15 2008
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